I’ve learnt to be calm in pressure situations from Dhoni: Simarjeet Singh
Mumbai: Chennai Super Kings’ right-arm pace bowler Simarjeet Singh has said he felt extremely nervous playing his first game in a highly-competitive environment like the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season, and added that seniors like Mahendra Singh Dhoni have played a big role in preparing the newcomers for “high-pressure situations”.
The 24-year-old Simarjeet made his IPL debut this season for CSK, taking four wickets in the six matches he played with a best of 2/27 and an economy of 7.67, which makes him one to look out for in the upcoming seasons.
The tall, skiddy pace bowler, who was a net bowler with the Delhi Capitals and bought by CSK for his base price of Rs 20 lakhs at the mega auction, added that being in the playing XI is something one cannot comprehend sitting on the bench, with the pressure quotient going up several notches.
“Overall it’s Mahi bhai. I learnt how to be calm in pressure situations from Mahi (Dhoni) bhai. Watching him on the television is a different thing as one does not know what happens after we finish an over. In reality he always keeps guiding me and pushes me to do better. Mahi bhai told me I bowled well. I can keep listening to his words forever,” Simarjeet told CSK TV.
The skiddy pacer also revealed that he was quite nervous before his maiden outing against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“I was telling everyone that I was not nervous in the first game against SRH. But in reality, I was extremely nervous during that game. When I entered the stadium for the first time, it felt super different with the crowds being back in the stands. There’s a lot of difference between sitting on the bench and being a part of the playing eleven. From the outside, I didn’t feel the pressure as such.
“I don’t want to think about the result. I only want to think about the game, which game gets me better. So, I kept thinking about how I can always give my hundred per cent. Results are not in my hand, what is to happen will happen. I was trying just to stay on my skills first. I was only focusing on showcasing my best skillset,” said Simarjeet.
CSK’s left-arm pace bowler Mukesh Choudhary said the support staff plays a key role in giving self-belief to players, and credited former India bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji and batting coach Michael Hussey for his success this season.
The 23-year-old Choudhary ended IPL 2022 with 16 wickets from 13 games, making his debut memorable, though CSK finished ninth on the points table.
“The belief (to do well) was always there. After the first two games, I was under pressure. I was confused as to what I was doing wrong. After those matches, I thought my place in the squad would be dicey. But the coaches and the management backed me really well. They said IPL is at another level, so you have to be careful with your bowling. I was extra focused for the MI game as I wanted to give my best. I made my bowling plans and executed it well and then realised that I do belong here,” said Choudhary.
“All the coaches have contributed to my development curve in big chunks. I worked with Erik (Eric Simons, CSK bowling consultant) on developing my seam. Bala (Balaji) sir guided me a lot in regards to my line and length. Rajive (Rajiv Kumar, CSK fielding coach) and (Michael) Hussey helped me stay in the right mindset, so I felt good interacting with them all,” he added.