Cricket - Indian Premier League - 4 weeks ago

“Competition gets the best out of you, I want to be the best version of myself”, says Mumbai pacer Tushar Deshpande (Exclusive)

Tushar Deshpande was procured by the Delhi Capitals in the IPL Auction

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Tushar Deshpande celebrates after picking up a wicket

On December 19, Mumbai pacer Tushar Deshpande was glued to his television screen as auctioneer Hugh Admeades called his name from the bag of uncapped pacers. “Tushar Deshpande, the base price of INR 20 lakhs”, Admeades invited the teams before declaring Deshpande unsold, the 24-year-old pacer from Mumbai was dejected. In the last few years, his journey has been one which you would want to follow.

In the second round, Delhi Capitals’ showed interest in the pacer as they procured him for his base price, INR 20 lakhs. Deshpande has been one of the prime bowlers for Mumbai in all the formats. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he bowled with the new ball in the powerplay and also took the responsibility of bowling at the death. He impressed the Delhi Capitals unit with his accuracy and pace.

In an exclusive conversation with SportsNewsQuest, Tushar Deshpande reveals his plans and shares his thought process.

Q. How did you feel when the Delhi Capitals procured you in the auction?

Tushar: I was watching the auction and I was dejected the first time I got unsold. I gave the trials for Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, and Mumbai Indians as well. I thought two or three teams might bid for me since my overall form was good in whatever matches I had played. I’m very happy that Delhi Capitals picked me, opportunities are important.

Q. Which player/coach are you looking to work with the most during your time with the Delhi Capitals?

Tushar: First of all, Ricky Ponting. Also looking forward to working with Kagiso Rabada. I’ve always watched him bowl and working with him will be very exciting. Most importantly, Picking his brains, how he thinks, how he prepares in a pressure game.

Q. Team Mumbai had a good outing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, how was the team atmosphere? 

Tushar: The team atmosphere was really good because we hadn’t lost a single game except for the game against Meghalaya. Other games we were winning single-handedly and I was bowling well, I even bowled at 146 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. As we were winning, the team atmosphere was really good in the team and everyone was really backing each other.

Q. Have you added any new variations to your bowling armory?

Tushar:  I’ve been bowling back of the hand slower one and I’ve been relying on the Yorker. If you execute the Yorker perfectly, the batsman won’t be able to hit you and it’s a wicket-taking option too. These are the two balls I’ve added to my armory. I also bowled the off-cutter and the slower bouncer during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Q. Do you have any specific plans for the Indian Premier League?

Tushar: The IPL is still three months away so I haven’t planned yet. I don’t know how the wicket might behave. The history of Kotla is slow throughout the year and I haven’t planned yet but I think my variations will work for me at Feroz Shah Kotla because the ball stops there, it all depends on the preparation before the game. At this point, my focus is on the Ranji Trophy.

Q. How do you adapt to different formats?

Tushar: I think the most important thing is the mindset. In T20 cricket, you just have to bowl four overs and you know the batsman will go after you so you just have to fox him out and you’ve to focus on dot balls because dot balls are equal to wickets in T20 cricket. In a four day game you’ve to get the batsman out, the attitude is different, you’ve to bowl 20 overs a day, you’ve to plan differently.

Q. Does the increasing competition among pacers in India bother you?

Tushar: I just focus on myself. I just want to be the best version of myself what I can be so I focus on improving that day by day, trying different balls that will work for me. There’s no thinking of competition, competition is there, I know, it should be there, it gets the best of you, to make it to the Indian team, I just want to be the best version of myself.


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