Talented offspinner Parveez Rasool, who has catapulted into the limelight in the last few months, is keen to represent India one day and is treating the Indian Premier League ( IPL) as a stepping stone towards achieving his ultimate goal.
However, Rasool, who has signed for Pune Warriors, says he would give his all for his franchise whenever he gets an opportunity to exhibit his wares in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.
“About my goal in the IPL, I would rather say that my ultimate target is to represent India. To be honest, I like Test cricket more, but IPL is also important for players these days to mould them to play well in all the formats,” Rasool told Mail Today in an interview.
“I would give my 100 per cent in the IPL and try to perform well. I am treating IPL as a stepping stone to achieve my ultimate goal of representing India,” said the lad from Bijebehara in Anantnag district of Kashmir.
Rasool, 24, is looking forward to meeting Ajantha Mendis, the versatile spinner from Sri Lanka, so that he could pick his brains.
“Pune Warriors’ foreign players haven’t arrived as yet. I’m very keen to speak to Mendis about his bowling and things like the field placings while bowling in T20,” he outlined.
“ I’m working on my yorkers. I am also talking to Pravin Amre sir and trying to learn how to bowl in the T20 format. By talking to coaches you gain experience.” Having just finished his fifth — and the most successful — domestic season, Rasool wants to carry his fine form into the IPL. In seven first- class matches, he bagged 33 wickets at a brilliant average of 18.09, the best being his seven- wicket haul against the visiting Australians that was instrumental in getting him the IPL contract.
And he scored 594 runs at 54, with 171 against Goa being his highest.
On the basis of his Ranji Trophy performance, Rasool was picked in the BCCI Board President’s XI to play against the Aussies and in the north zone team for Deodhar Trophy. His north zone captain Gautam Gambhir had so much faith in Rasool that he opened the bowling with him in the Deodhar final against west zone.
“When you perform in Ranji, and then progress to a higher level, like the match against the Australians, it means a lot. That game was my career’s biggest match so far because taking seven wickets was a big achievement for me,” he pointed out.
“I received several calls from IPL franchises after the seven- wicket haul,” he disclosed.
“Apart from Pune Warriors, two- three franchises also approached me. But since I was already in talks with Pune, it wasn’t proper for me to go back on my word. I told Pune Warriors’ officials to not to worry as I’ve given them my word.” Pune Warriors were so impressed with Rasool and they had even called him for a camp in February. “ But I couldn’t go as I was attending the emerging bowlers’ camp at the NCA in Bangalore at the same time,” said the spinner who was called by the BCCI to bowl at the Indian team’s nets twice during the season.
Sachin Tendulkar is Rasool’s cricketing hero.
“He has always been my favourite. I would have felt very nice had I played alongside him in the IPL; even if I wouldn’t have got that opportunity, I could have learned so much by simply sitting in the dressing room,” he wishes.
Both Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab had approached Rasool. “ But I had given a commitment to Pune, so I had to live up to it,” he said, implying that he was not chasing money. “ There’s a Hadith ( saying) of the Prophet that whoever goes back on his word is not honest with his faith. So, I stuck to my word.”
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