Deccan Chronicle

Exclusive|Dhoni kept guiding from behind in Zim: Sran

Deccan Chronicle| wriddhaayan bhattacharyya

Published on: June 30, 2016 | Updated on: June 30, 2016

India speedster, who impressed in Zimbabwe, credits skipper for guidance from behind the wickets.

Barinder Sran receiving the maiden T20I cap from skipper MS Dhoni in Zimbabwe. (Photo: BCCI)

Barinder Sran receiving the maiden T20I cap from skipper MS Dhoni in Zimbabwe. (Photo: BCCI)

Mumbai: He wanted to be a speedster after plying his trade in boxing. At the age of 18, he discarded the punching bag and picked up the red cherry. Barinder Sran – the 23-year-old fast bowler from Punjab – started late but swung into the Indian cricket team within five years. The left-arm pacer — who recently impressed in Zimbabwe — said skipper MS Dhoni’s constant supervision from behind the wickets helped him prosper.

Team India never saw a genuine left-arm pacer after Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra.

Sran – with his clean action (mirror image to that of Brett Lee) – could be India’s answer to the bowling problem.

"Dhoni taught me how to bowl according to the field placement. He kept talking from behind and told me how to bowl at which batsman which really helped," says Sran, who picked up six wickets in two T20Is (including a 4/10) and four wickets in three ODIs.

Though a second string side went to Zimbabwe, they bonded as a unit under the watchful eyes of the experienced Dhoni.

"Initially, my confidence was low. I thought I wasn’t able to perform to my potential. But from the second ODI, the ball started swinging well, I could exploit the conditions which helped me plan better," he adds.

India won the ODI series 3-0 and the T20I series 2-1.

"Being a young team, there was a lot of unity. We all were together – both in the dressing room and on the field – and people helped each other when required," says Sran, who will tour Australia with India ‘A’ for a quadrangular series in August.

The India ‘A’ team is coached by former India skipper Rahul Dravid.

Sran is also keen to gather ideas from the senior team coach Anil Kumble when he earns the berth for the next limited-overs series.

"If I get to play under him, it will be great opportunity for he has been a successful bowler for India. It will be brilliant if I can learn a few tricks from him. He will understand bowlers better. I have only had a formal introduction with him in the past," he adds.

However, now he is busy perfecting the rusty areas ahead of the Australia tour.

"I go to the ground every morning, work out in the gym during the evenings and then, I also take time out to play volleyball and soccer. I want to perfect the movement of the new ball, I am not too happy with it right now, the ball needs to be pitched in the right area so that it goes in smoothly," says Sran, who made his debut earlier this year against Australia.

It was Sran who held his nerve and bowled the last over in the final T20I against Zimbabwe which India won by three runs.

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