New Delhi: Despite ending up on the losing side in Monday's Vijay Hazare Trophy final, Pawan Negi can be proud of his performance.
After picking up two Gujarat wickets, Negi went on to score 57 as his side were bowled out for 133. The left-arm spinner finished with 16 wickets in the ODI tournament.
In recent years, Negi has emerged as a very effective cricketer. Apart from bowling well, he also boasts of an ability to deliver lusty blows with the bat.
Before his IPL side Chennai Super Kings were banned from the tournament for a period of two years, Negi established himself as a key member of that side.
Interestingly, the 22-year-old credits his former CSK skipper for his rise as a cricketer.
"It is because of CSK that people recognize me. My stint with CSK has helped me develop as a player. I will give credit to Mahi bhai for always supporting me. There have been numerous occasions when I have batted with him. I used to get really nervous. But he would always come up to me, telling me to play my natural game and bat in the way I would at the nets. Even during practice, he would tell me to bowl in the right areas and according to situations. When I look back, these suggestions have helped to improve my game," Negi told Times of India.
"I learnt how to handle pressure by following Dhoni. Earlier, I would go for rash shots. But now I don't do that and try to take the game to the last over, the way Dhoni bhai does," he further added.
Though Negi has done well on the domestic circuit, breaking into the Indian team will not be easy.
With Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel employed in similar roles for Team India, Negi will have to keep performing consistently to grab the selectors' attention.