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April 19, 2013
Mohit Sharma, the 24-year-old seam bowler from Haryana who was a key component in Chennai Super Kings' thumping victory over Delhi Daredevils, has said he came into the match with a clear mind and set plan. Mohit knocked the top off the Daredevils batting on Thursday night, accounting for David Warner, Virender Sehwag and Manprit Juneja in the Powerplay to all but seal the game after Super Kings had posted 169.
He was looking to lure Sehwag with a shorter length, Mohit said, and it worked for him. "I have played against him twice and he has hit me for runs. Since he is a compulsive puller, we decided to bowl him a short ball and what we did paid off," he told the IPL website. Of the four legal deliveries he bowled to Sehwag, three were short-of-a-length balls, the final of which was mis-hit to the fielder at deep-square leg.
His strategy, Mohit said, was to take it one delivery at a time. "[Suresh] Raina bhai had told me not to think of how I will bowl the entire over or how I will bowl my quota of four overs, but to just think of the one delivery that I will be bowling at that point. So I bowled thinking about only one delivery at a time, and that probably worked for me."
Being rather familiar with the Kotla pitch, Mohit said, also helped: "What I knew about the wicket happened today; the wicket has usually been a bit slow and low and the same thing happened here. Coach Stephen Fleming and [bowling coach] Andy Bichel had also told me that the track is a bit slow and low, so just bowl wicket to wicket.
"And that is what happened to David Warner. He slashed and played on because the wicket was slow."
Mohit was signed by Super Kings ahead of the 2013 tournament, following an impressive first-class season for Haryana - in eight Ranji Trophy games, he took 37 wickets at 23.24. He also played in one of the touring England team's warm-up one-dayers in January, in which he claimed the wickets of Ian Bell and Craig Kieswetter.
Talking about his style of bowling, Mohit said: "I am not the kind of bowler who experiments a lot. Only if things are going against me too much, then I try and experiment. Otherwise I believe in sticking to my line. That is my strength so I will work on that. I bowl on a spot."
Super Kings' international players have been ideal teachers, Mohit said. "I get to learn a lot from all these players, Dirk Nannes, Bichel and the other fast bowlers. They keep telling me where I am going wrong and what I can do to improve, like increasing my speed and having better body balance.
"There is never any communication gap. If they feel I am not understanding what they are explaining, they make it easier for me by explaining it to me in cricketing terms. And I have never met anyone more positive than captain Dhoni."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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