The young pace sensation of J&K, Rasikh Salam, who was part of 2019 Indian Premier League winning side, is feeling on top of the world as the win for him was once in a lifetime experience.
Rasikh who is second ever player from J&K after Parvez Rasool to play in lucrative Indian Premier League also became the first player ever from J&K to be part of champion IPL team.
Mumbai Indians lifted the IPL 2019 title defeating Chennai Super Kings in final in Hyderabad and Rasikh Salam was very much part of the side.
Though after making his surprise debut in very first match of Mumbai Indians campaign against Delhi Capitals, Rasikh was not handed second match, the young pacer says that he has no worry.
“First to be part of IPL and then to make debut and being handed reasonability of bowling first ball is more than a fantasy journey. I never had imagined that I would be playing the very first game and had never dreamt about being part of the team which will eventually lift IPL title,” Rasikh told Greater Kashmir.
“It was mind-blowing moment when we lifted the title and for me to be part of the very same team was out of World experience. The moment Malinga got wicket on last ball to hand us the title I can’t express that feeling in words. After that it was all fun and celebrations,” Rasikh said.
The 17-year-old Rasikh said he is not worried about being sidelined for rest of the tournament after making his debut as he has got time with him.
“It doesn’t bother me as I have been training under legends like Shane Bond, Zaheer Khan and Mahela Jayawardene. They all have been encouraging me to work hard and told me that I am still young and there is lot of time and scope for improvement. They also told me to gear up for future opportunities that are likely going to come my way,” Rasikh said.
Though Rasikh was not played in any match but Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma, Director Cricket Zaheer Khan and even bowling Coach Shane Bond were all praise for him after he made his debut against Delhi.
Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond while praising Salam said he was one of better bowlers for the team during its IPL opener against Delhi.
“It was a challenging start but as I said in the pre-camp, things are going to go wrong at times. You are going to bowl a no-ball but the easy thing for Rasikh to do would have been to go to pieces but he certainly didn’t. I thought he showed great composure and was one of our better bowlers,” Bond was quoted by Mumbai Indian’s website as saying.
Impressed with his composure and control over his swing, former India batsman Yuvraj Singh said Kashmir young fast bowler Rasikh Salam is going to emerge as a special player in the next two to three years.
“Rasikh swung the ball in the nets, that is why the boys wanted to play him. He got hit for a six and four in the last two balls. Other than that, he bowled well, Singh said in an interview with MITV.
“I think he did fantastic for his first match in terms of handling the pressure. Pretty much like an International game. I feel he is going to be special in the next 2-3 years,” he further said.
Mumbai’s Director of Cricket Operations Zaheer Khan said Salam is an exciting young prospect who has great temperament.
“Even Rohit Sharma is impressed with Rasikh. He was thinking of giving him an opportunity as early in the season as possible, so exciting times ahead,” said Zaheer.
Rasikh had joined Mumbai Indians in Mumbai well ahead of the league start with focus on strength and conditioning. He says that during his three month stay with the franchisee he learnt a lot and it is going to help him during domestic season.
“I had joined team well in advance and worked hard under trainers on my fitness and strengthening. When the actual camp started then I started working under some of the legends of the game. Each moment, day spent with them was dream and I learnt a lot from them. One thing that I have learnt from them is that there is no substitute for hard work and dedication,” Rasikh said.
In the Mumbai Indian team Rasikh worked alongwith India’s current pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and he said that it was great learning experience.
“Jasprit and I have good connection. We always talk to each other. If I have any problem in bowling, field setting, yorker or the or slower one I keep asking him and he responds well. He always tells me that you will always have both good and bad phases you need to learn to come out of it. If I bowl a wrong bowl then how to come back with the right one, that is what he teaches me,” he said.
Rasikh Salaam is set to join rest of the members of India Under 19 coaching camp in National Cricket Academy Bangalore and he said his dream is to play in India Under-19 team.
“My immediate target is to play for India Under-19 and then move on step by step. I will try my best in Under-19 camp so that I make my way into the team,” he said.
About his message to youth of Kashmir he said, “There is lot of talent in Kashmir and they should focus on their game work hard. There will be ups and downs as it is part of life but one has to manage things well. The way you manage those ups and downs will define your path and career”.
Due to his IPL duties Rasikh had not joined Under-19 camp but will now join rest of the players on Friday. In the camp there are also other three players from J&K Qamran Iqbal, Mujtaba Yousuf and Kanhaiya Wadhwan.