Hello Readers! In this week’s “Blab with Sandy”, we have Indian cricketer Shreevats Goswami with us. Shreevats Goswami was part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad team in this year’s IPL and played a crucial part as a wicket-keeper batsman. Let’s dive into the exciting blab I had with him:
Sandy: Hello Shreevats! Kudos to you and the Orange Army for delivering a wonderful performance in this year’s IPL.
Shreevats: Thank you so much Sandeep! It’s amazing to be a part of the Orange Army .
Sandy: Could you let us know about your background? When did you start playing cricket?
Shreevats: I started playing cricket when I was around 11/12. I am a small town boy from Liluah in Howrah district, Kolkata. I went to a local club nearby to start practice. Learnt from the coaches that I had the talent to make this as a career and I used to enjoy playing the game a lot!
I stared playing in the junior age group for Bengal from the age of 13. When I was 17/18, I got picked for India U-19 and that was it it! I knew that this is what I have to do for the rest of my life. 🙂
Sandy: You were part of the Indian Under 19 team which won the World Cup in 2008 under Virat Kohli’s captaincy. Can you describe the win and your experience of being part of the winning team?
Shreevats: Oh! I still feel that it was one of the best India U-19 teams till date. At the age of 18, I played for the Indian U-19 team and this couldn’t have got better for me. It was an amazing feeling to lift the trophy. We all were very excited to be a part of the winning team. It definitely is an unforgettable moment.
Virat back then wasn’t the Virat that he is now! We were all buddies and he is still a good friend. His captaincy was good throughout the tournament and eventually we won it, so credit to him as well. Now, he is the captain of the senior team so it shows he always had it in him to lead the side. Overall, the experience was indeed surreal, a mixed feeling of fantasy filled with truth. 🙂
Sandy: Having been part of few IPL teams in the past, how was it to be picked by the Sunrisers Hyderabad unit?
Shreevats: I can proudly say that this is my best IPL team’s out of all with due respect to the other franchises. 🙂 SRH is a very professional cricket oriented franchise. I loved every day spent with the players and the coaches.
Everything was smooth, right from organizing the practice sessions to other events. The management was excellent at their job and there wasn’t any sort of pressure from the owners, even if there was, the coaches never let us feel any bit of it. 🙂 So, I sincerely thank the SRH franchise for going all out for me at the auction and picking me up. It has been an incredible year for us and I am sure it will be for the next seasons. 🙂
Sandy: Few words about having Tom Moody, VVS Laxman and Muttiah Muralitharan as the mentors/coaching staff.
Shreevats: They are absolutely brilliant coaches and are an able support staff with a lot of experience. Having Tom, VVS and Murli Sir as your coach is an advantage. We can only reap benefits from them. They were the most calm and balanced personalities under pressure and did not let anyone of us feel any kind of pressure throughout the tournament.
You can just be around them and learn so much. They were always there for the players even when someone isn’t getting a game. They would personally come to the players and talk to them in order to keep them in good space and get them prepared to rise whenever the opportunity comes.
Not to forget, Simmon, the assistant coach. He has been an amazing influence and had been with us throughout the tournament in helping the batters and fielders with what they exactly need. I feel Simmon is the unsung true hero of the team. He’s got a great vibe about himself and it spreads in the team.
Trainer Jade and Physiotherapist Theo have been with the team for a long time and they are more like friends. It’s amazing to have them with us as both of them are great at what they do.
Sandy: Kane Williamson has earned a lot of appreciation for his batting and most importantly, his captaincy. Your take on Kane Williamson.
Shreevats: (Smiles) He is a class player and a legend in the game. I have played against him in the 2008 U-19 World Cup in the semi finals and got him stumped. 🙂 He is very calm and collective under pressure and it reflects in his personality.
Kane Williamson is very approachable. You can go up to him and talk to him at any point of time. Not all can do what he has done for us this year. He makes batting look so easy and his T20 game has gone up by many notches. We are very lucky to have him around, both as a captain and as a player. 🙂
Sandy: Rashid Khan performed incredibly well, with the ball, bat and on the field. How difficult is to keep the wickets while Rashid is bowling? Are there any talks/clues between you and Rashid about the next ball being bowled by him? 🙂
Shreevats : Rashid has been a superstar for us ever since he has been part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad team. It’s very lucky and good that Afghanistan has come up and we have found players like Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi bhai in our team.
Rashid has done exceedingly well for us this year in all the 3 departments. Yes, he is difficult to pick as a keeper but I practiced him enough in the nets to get used to his pace and variations. 🙂 Having said that, match situation is completely different and it’s been a great learning curve and a challenge.
I always looked forward to keeping the wickets for him because you know that there is a an opportunity coming your way whenever he is bowling. I loved that fact that I could be involved in the game whilst his bowling.
I wish there were talks in between balls and that we had enough time to discuss what he is going to bowl next, hahahaha!! But, there is not much time between overs or the deliveries and you just have to be good enough to pick him up. 🙂
Sandy: Having reached the finals is a great achievement for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Where do you think that you lost the match to the Chennai Super Kings?
Shreevats: Reaching the finals is a great achievement in itself. Yes, the winner takes away all the attention but there are six other teams too who haven’t turned up and gotten so far but we did! 🙂
I think Watson’s blistering innings is where the game turned away from us, as each over he took the game nearer to their side. Sometimes, you gotta give credit to the opposition wherever it’s due. Chennai Super Kings played a great game of cricket. 180 is definitely a good score in the finals but credit has to go to Shane Watson.
Quick Shot Round:
- Favorite shot: Cover drive / Flick
- Tom Moody: Tall 🙂
- Hyderabad: Biryani
- Most jovial/ funniest player in Sunrisers Hyderabad: Bipul Sharma
- Rashid Khan: Talented
- Virat Kohli: Legend
- Favorite Wicket-Keeper Batsman: Before – Adam Gilchrist/ Now – MS Dhoni
- Toughest bowler to bat against (in a match/ nets): Rashid Khan
- Apart from cricket, Shreevats indulges in? Travelling, shopping and decorating my house
- Close friends in the cricketing circles: Quite a few – Pradeep Sangwan , Tanmay Srivastav, Manish Pandey , Siddharth Kaul , Karn Sharma. I am forgetting a few more names 🙂
Sandy: Could you let us know about your daily training schedule and regime?
Shreevats: I love training and I have also made a small gym at home since I live far away from Eden Gardens. It isn’t easy to go up and down just to train for 40 minutes. Because of the home gym, it’s easier now.
And the regime depends on few things. It’s different during the season and different during the off season. We have trainers who set up the chart for us and I follow it. 🙂
Sandy: What is your cricket itinerary looking like for the next few months? What next for Shreevats Goswami? ☺
Shreevats: Complete rest for the next couple of weeks and then I am back to the ground. 🙂 I have got a few club games coming up back in Kolkata!
Sandy: Few words about Hyderabad and Hyderabad Local.
Shreevats: Hyderabad has been a good city for us. It’s nice and warm. Hyderabad people have been really kind and supportive. Food is excellent! 🙂
Hyderabad Local is breezy! Keep going Sandeep. 🙂
Editor’s Note: Wishing Shreevats Goswami, more runs in front of the wicket, more dismissals behind the wicket and a wonderful cricketing season ahead! 🙂
Interview by Sandeep Rao Kanukolanu (Sandy)