Ravi Bishnoi played his first match of the season on Friday against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in Chennai. He made an instant impact with figures of 2 for 21, claiming the big scalps of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav.
At a virtual press conference after PBKS’ dominant nine-wicket win over MI, Ravi Bishnoi was asked about the conversations he has had with skipper Rahul with regards to his role in the team. Ravi Bishnoi revealed:
“The captain (KL Rahul) asked me to be consistent with my bowling. He backed me saying that if you work harder on your bowling, it will be better for you. He told me to wait for my chances and that my turn will definitely come. So I was waiting for that and it came today.”
Ravi Bishnoi admitted that the backing of Rahul and the PBKS management has given him greater confidence. The young leg-spinner bowled the end overs last season, and he was given the responsibility of bowling the 17th over on Friday as well.
Praising Rahul and the team management for showing faith in him, Ravi Bishnoi added:
“Feels really good when the captain and the team management backs you. When you get to bowl the tough overs, and if you deliver in those situations, then it feels even better. Also, the faith of the management and captain on you automatically grows. I feel very happy whenever I get to bowl. It doesn’t matter whether it is a difficult situation or an easy situation.”
Ravi Bishnoi grabbed his opportunity: KL Rahul
Speaking after the crucial win, PBKS’ captain Rahul said that while he was happy with the result, it was even more pleasing to see youngsters like Ravi Bishnoi grab their chances.
“We don't wanna get too ahead of ourselves, we're slowly coming together as a team. I said this after the first game as well, we're a young team. We add new names every year and we've to be patient. (Deepak) Hooda has been playing really well, Shahrukh's (Khan) taken his opportunities, and Bishnoi today.”
"I am sure it (the performance) gives him (Ravi Bishnoi) a lot of confidence. He unfortunately missed the first few games, he's been working really hard with Anil bhai (Kumble). There were a few things he needed to correct and he's been somebody who's brave, that's very good to see. He held his composure and bowled really well," Rahul added.
On the decision to bat second after winning the toss, he stated:
“Me and coach did have a long chat about batting second, I felt that the wicket was sticky and the first few games we've batted and felt that the bowlers were always under pressure. I felt it was important that bowlers get to bowl in those conditions.”
Apart from Ravi Bishnoi, veteran pacer Mohammed Shami also claimed two wickets as PBKS restricted MI to 131 for 6. Rahul (60 not out) and Gayle (43) then guided the team home in the chase.