Rajasthan Royals’ Chetan Sakariya revealed that he and his teammates were ‘hoping’ to not have contracted the virus after it emerged that Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Wriddhiman Saha had tested positive. Incidentally, RR played SRH just two days before Saha was found to be COVID-19 positive.
Varun Chakravarthy testing positive on Monday, May 3, led to the suspension of one match, but it was Wriddhiman Saha’s positive result on Tuesday that brought the tournament to a halt. The Sunrisers team went into immediate isolation post the revelation but the news also induced fear amongst many a Rajasthan player. It was only two days before Saha tested positive that the Royals took on the Sunrisers, and, as is always the case, the players mingled post the game, involving themselves in light-hearted chatter.
Speaking to Sportstar, RR’s Chetan Sakariya, who has now reached his home, revealed that the RR players were desperately hoping to not return a positive result, after having interacted with multiple SRH players on Sunday.
“We had just played a game against Sunrisers and after every match, the players usually catch up at the ground. We were hoping not to return positive since we had met a few players from their team,” Sakariya told Sportstar.
Barring the Covid scare, though, IPL 2021 was a tournament to remember for the youngster. The 23-year-old made jaws drop with his variations and picked 7 wickets in total in the competition, outfoxing many a big fish in the process. The left-armer revealed that he out-performed his expectations, and described the wicket of MS Dhoni as the most special scalp.
“Initially, I felt the pressure but later on, I handled that. I bowled a few good spells to some great batsmen. I never thought I would bowl to them someday. That gave me a lot of confidence. I think I bowled better than I thought I would. I have to improve but I am happy with my performance.
“Mahi [Dhoni] bhai’s wicket was my favourite. I was happily shocked. It felt unreal. If you see the video, you will know how shocked I was,” he said.
Chris Morris recently described Sakariya as the ‘find of the tournament’, but the South African is not the only overseas RR cricketer to have taken a liking for the 23-year-old. Sakariya revealed that Jos Buttler, despite being a batsman, often guided him with his lines and lengths during the powerplay and added that the Englishman provided valuable tips that helped him succeed in matches.
“Buttler, though a batsman, told me a lot about bowling in the Powerplay. He would stand beside when I bowled during the practice games. He told me to stick to the length and not worry about conceding a boundary. It’s just that there should not be a single loose delivery.”