2022 has been a year where leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi catapulted his way through the India T20I side. With his googly as the stock delivery and ability to bowl quicker through the air to trouble the batters, Bishnoi has been one of the finds for the Indian team in the shortest format this year.
Bishnoi had a dream start to his T20I career against the West Indies, earning a man-of-the-match award for picking 2/17 from his quota of four overs. Since then, he has snapped 16 wickets in 10 matches for India and earned plaudits for his gutsy spell of 1/26 against Pakistan in the 2022 Asia Cup.
Though he wasn't named in India's main squad for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, Bishnoi will be travelling to the competition as one of the four reserve players. After being the leading wicket-taker in 2020 U19 World Cup, Bishnoi made a splash while turning out for Punjab Kings in IPL 2020 and 2021, picking 12 wickets in both editions which quickened his India call-up.
Hence, it's no surprise that Bishnoi credits IPL for giving him a good learning environment and giving him chance to bowl to best in the business. "The IPL has supported me a lot because in age-group cricket everyone is of the same age or maybe younger but in IPL there is no age limit, senior players, international players so you get to learn a lot when you share the dressing room with these players and you get to bowl to so many legends," said the young leg-spinner on 'Sports Over The Top' show on Sports18.
Amongst the 37 scalps he's picked in IPL till now, taking out Rishabh Pant in his IPL debut for Punjab against Delhi Capitals in September 2020 is a treasured memory."I will always remember that moment because as a youngster you always dream of this, and the first wicket is always memorable so I will always cherish that moment."
While Bishnoi, now with Lucknow Super Giants, has partnered with Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel in the Indian jersey, he wishes to partner with premier Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan if he gets a chance to do so in future.
"It was fun bowling with Yuzvendra Chahal as you know he is one of the top-five spinners right now. If I am fortunate enough, I would love to bowl with Rashid Khan because I will get to learn how to bowl in a partnership."
Bishnoi, 22, has idolised legendary leg-spinners Anil Kumble and Shane Warne in his growing up years in Jodhpur. He further expressed gratitude to his parents and people who supported him in his initial days as a budding cricketer.
"I started as a medium pacer but switched to leg spin and developed an interest and enjoyed the art of leg spin. That is when I started taking cricket seriously when I was around 11-12 years old.""My two coaches have supported me throughout the journey, and they have been my backbone.
During the starting days, my parents were very supportive but in Indian culture, there is a belief that there is no scope in sports. After a few years when my coaches explained my potential to them, they started supporting me."