It is exciting. Always good to be back to play cricket. It was a long break. Excited to get into English conditions to start this Test series. It is always a proud moment for anyone that makes the West Indies team. It's an honour, so you just have to go there, perform and make sure you be in the team for a long period.
It is a good, challenging cricket territory. I played there once for West Indies A team [in 2018]. Growing up, I watched a lot of Ashes series. So it is good to go there [now] and play there. No, I don't need to pinch myself. I just see it as another tour. Do the right things and the results will come in the end.
Just a few calls and a few checks to make sure everything is safe - safety comes first. Once I was comfortable with all the necessary checks that the West Indies board has done, I was ready to go on the tour.
I have three sisters and two brothers. We live with our parents. They have always given me love and support for me to go out and perform. We all were on the same page, waiting on CWI [Cricket West Indies] to give us information to see if it is comfortable or not to go. We were not nervous. We were just trying to be safe before we make a decision.
"In my first Test, I bowled to Rahane, and he is a good player of spin. Once I was bowling my stock deliveries and my best deliveries, he understood where I am coming from. Then I needed to be patient and wait for a mistake"
It was a proud moment for me, getting my first five-wicket haul in Test cricket. I just knew that going to India, probably the surfaces there would suit my type of bowling, and so I just went there and put the ball in the right areas and tried to be as consistent as I can.
He is a player that plays spin well. He looks to use his feet to the spinners. So basically I was trying to keep him in the crease, and I got a little bit of bounce and he cut it to backward point. Probably catch 'im a little bit off guard in terms of the bounce, yeah.
That was in a President's XI game in St Kitts. I got a five-wicket haul in that game as well. I got Kohli lbw and Rahane caught bat-pad. They were basic offspin deliveries with just a little bit of bounce. I also got Pujara bowled in that match - he was attempting a sweep shot.
I see it as a breakthrough moment for me where one of the best batsman in the world is asking for me to come to bowl to him in the nets.
You learn a lot. A lot of patience, [that you need to] stick to line and length consistently rather than being all over the place.
I bowl like that from ever since I know myself, and I go from strength to strength.
That is one of my biggest strengths, but I also get a lot of bounce as well. And the way how I impart spin on the ball. Yes, control is a very big part of my bowling.
I did a lot of work with Mushtaq Ahmed. That was in 2019. We had a two-week bowling camp when I learned a lot of different things from him about spin bowling. He didn't really change much, he just worked on what I already had to see how best we can create that offspinning art and we just go from there.
Okay. No, I never heard what he [Ambrose] said. Once you know how to master the craft, why would you want to change it? I just stick to what I know.
"I'm not too far. I think my batting technique is very good. Just a couple more things that I need to iron out. I am capable enough to do the job for my team"
Once you get your mechanics right and everything in line, your rhythm will fall in place. Shoulders, the way how I set up my bowling side to land the ball in the right areas. In the Afghanistan Test I had good rhythm, the ball was coming nicely out of my hands. I enjoyed that.
My normal offbreak.
Test cricket and first-class cricket are two different types of cricket. Test cricket, you have to be more patient, you are bowling to better players, so you have to be more smarter and more putting the ball in the right areas consistently. In first-class cricket, probably you can get away with one or two bad balls, but in Test cricket the margin is very slim, so you have to be consistent and always be on the money.
My batting is going to be a big part of my career. I'm capable enough of scoring runs, so I just have to work hard on my batting and do the right things that I know I can do with the bat, and maybe I come up full-blown allrounder.
I'm not too far. I think my technique is very good. Just a couple more things that I need to iron out. I am capable enough to do the job for my team.
Fielding is something I put a lot of hard work into. I am a very good catcher. I catch the ball well at slips, even midwicket or short cover. I am trying to master areas and see how best I can contribute in the field. During training I do a lot of catching. Just make sure you keep your eyes on the ball right through.
It is a little of both. You have to have both to do the job.
There's no doubt about it I am a big guy, but I have to put in work. I don't really get too bogged down and lazy about it. I spend a lot of time on my fitness. Try to eat properly.
I don't really study what other people say. I know what I can do. And I know what I need to do. So I just focus on that and leave the rest.
Yeah. Nothing has really changed. I just have to work from strength to strength.
I got the knee surgeries in December 2019. I am getting back there. My knees are way better than before. I had to get the surgery done because of an old injury.
"In first-class cricket, probably you can get away with one or two bad balls, but in Test cricket the margin is very slim"
Not really. The numbers speak. I just have to keep building as my career goes on. I have to cherish my performance. Celebrate with my team-mates. You just have to stick to basics and stay calm and go about your business.
I am this calm from day one. That's how I know myself from ever. Hold your composure and do your thing.
England is not really spinner-friendly, but if you put in the work you'll get some result. If the weather is dry, you will get spin. You just have to be consistent and with different bounce, line and length, you will be good.
Patience. Consistency. Keep at it for long periods.
Stay safe and enjoy your cricket. Once you enjoy your cricket, success will come
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo