Calcutta (The Telegraph): Being ignored for three editions of the IPL, after being picked for the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008, made Debabrata Das determined to achieve success.
Though he has not scored big in IPL-V, he has managed to steer his team to victory on more than one occasion. More importantly, he has made a name for himself as a ‘finisher’.
“It was a blessing in disguise that I did not play in the next three editions of the IPL. If I had kept on playing, I wouldn’t have been this hungry. I think I needed the gap to assess my game,” said Debabrata.
“The gap made me more determined and mentally tougher for future challenges. I used to practice hard at nets,” Debabrata added.
Of late, Debabrata has acquired the reputation of remaining calm under enormous pressure.
In KKR’s last match against the Chennai Super Kings on Monday, the right-handed batsman showed nerves of steel to score 11 off four deliveries to take his side to victory.
Captain Gautam Gambhir, who scored a fluent 63 in the match, recognised the right-hander’s efforts and shared the Man of the Match award with him.
The batsman said that he was surprised when Gambhir announced his decision.
“At the start of the post match presentation ceremony, Gambhir asked me to come with him. I thought that he would introduce me to someone."
“I was completely taken by surprise when he said that he wanted to share the Man of the Match trophy. It was a very nice gesture on the part of the captain,” said Debabrata.
The Bengal batsman owes his success to his captain. “Gambhir is supporting me to the hilt. He is giving me suggestions before every game. Even if I commit mistakes, he always backs me."
“I believe it is very important that a captain always backs a newcomer. I have experienced a scenario where a captain criticises you if you make a mistake. But Gambhir always asks me to play my own game irrespective of the position the team is in,” Debabrata said.
No wonder then that Debabrata looks up to Gambhir for inspiration.
On Monday in Chennai, Debabrata had named Gambhir as his icon.
However, he clarified on Wednesday, that he had intended to say that Gambhir was his inspiration while his icons were Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar.
“I meant to say that the way Gambhir has backed me, he is my inspiration. My heroes are Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar.”