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"Ashwin anna is there; he will answer any question I ask" - M Siddharth set to make his mark at DC in IPL 2021 [Exclusive]

M Siddharth will play for last year
M Siddharth will play for last year's finalists Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021
Sai Krishna
Modified 20 Feb 2021

Tamil Nadu bowler M Siddharth made his List A debut against Punjab earlier today, and has only 6 T20 games under his belt.

But he has already had two Indian Premier League (IPL) teams raise their paddle for him in the auction - a testament to the precocious talent of the left-arm spinner. After being a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad last year, Siddharth was snapped up by the Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2021.

In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, the soft-spoken Siddharth expressed his unbridled happiness at signing for the Delhi Capitals and shed light on his parents' role in his rapid rise.

"I'm very happy, elated for sure. My mother and father were also extremely happy, so I feel great. I'm very content, very happy. I couldn't have come this far without the support from my parents. Their backing has always helped me, and I'm very grateful."

In the short span of two years, Siddharth will have gotten to interact with some of the best spinners in the world. At KKR, he rubbed shoulders with Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy and Chris Green. Now at the Capitals, Siddharth has illustrious teammates like R Ashwin, Axar Patel and Amit Mishra.

"Last year, when I played for the Kolkata Knight Riders, every spinner in the team was very experienced. So I learnt a lot from them. Everyone at KKR - Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav - was experienced, and they've had a lot of success in T20 cricket as well. They are all international players, so I learned whatever I could from them - about their preparation, etc."

Siddharth also singled out state captain Dinesh Karthik for praise, saying that the former KKR skipper has had an undeniable impact on his fledgling career.

"When I played for Tamil Nadu, Dinesh Karthik gave me a lot of confidence. He has played a big role in my career."

Ravichandran Ashwin has served as a mentor for almost every young Tamil Nadu spinner, and Siddharth is no different. He looks forward to gleaning every bit of knowledge from a man who has taken almost 400 Test wickets.

"I want to continue in the same vein and learn a lot from the players at the Delhi Capitals. Ashwin anna is there, he will answer any question I ask him. He will help me a lot, so it's a great opportunity."

'My ultimate goal is to play for the country' - M Siddharth

M Siddharth unsurprisingly harbours dreams of representing the Men in Blue
M Siddharth unsurprisingly harbours dreams of representing the Men in Blue

A standout feature of Siddharth's career so far has been the effortless step-ups he's made. The 22-year-old won the 2019 edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) with the Chepauk Super Gillies, and made his T20 and FC debuts in the same year.

When asked about the difference in standards between domestic tournaments and the IPL, Siddharth said he relished the chance to pick the brains of some of the best cricketers in the world.

"The standards are obviously a bit higher in the IPL. I learnt from international cricketers how they prepare, how they approach a match, what their mindset is ahead of a game. These are the biggest differences I observed."

Like any aspiring cricketer, Siddharth's ultimate goal is to play for the country, but he first wants to perform in every game he gets for the Capitals. And after watching Washington Sundar and T Natarajan effortlessly make the jump to the IPL and international cricket, fans can safely say that Siddharth's dreams are on the verge of realization.

"In the IPL, I want to do well in every match I get. My bigger-picture goal is to play for India. I've been dreaming of this for a long time, and my ultimate goal is to play for the country."

Siddharth has long idolized MS Dhoni, and harbors a desire to meet and play alongside the former Indian captain.

"MS Dhoni has been my idol for many years now. I've had a desire to meet him for a long time. In fact, I want to play alongside him."

Siddharth is a left-arm spinner whose biggest strengths are his accuracy and subtle changes of pace. He has modeled his bowling on former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori, and the similarities between the two are there for all to see.

Siddharth is well aware of his strengths, and his clarity of thought was on display when he said:

"From a young age, I watched a lot of Daniel Vettori. His speed variations, his arm ball - I loved them. I'd say the arm ball is my strength. I can vary speed successfully, and keep bowling in the right areas. My biggest strength? I'd say my accuracy."

M Siddharth was the Man of the Final in last month's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for a superb 4-wicket haul. He has been rewarded with a maiden List A cap for Tamil Nadu, in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy game against Punjab.

Published 20 Feb 2021, 12:05 IST
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