Jaipur: Overwhelmed at having claimed the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, Rajasthan Royals off-spinner Ajit Chandila said dismissing the two legends of the game was bigger than the hat-trick he took in the last season of Indian Premier League.
"You can take my hat-trick. These two wickets matter a lot more to me than my hat-trick last year!" said Chandila.
"It is like a dream come true for me. Taking the wickets of two legends of the game is like a double hat-trick for me. I still cannot believe this has happened, I feel I am in some sort of dream. I just cannot express how I feel. As a bowler, I cannot ask for anything more," he added.
After posting a formidable 179 for three, Rajasthan bowled out Mumbai Indians for 92 in 18.2 overs last night to register a convincing 87-run win in their Pepsi IPL match here.
Mumbai had a disastrous start as Chandila saw off Tendulkar in the very first over, and to top it up in his very next over the spinner dismissed Ponting. Chandila attributed his success to former India spinner Narendra Hirwani.
"Before the match, I was advised by Narendra Hirwani Sir to stick to my line and length and vary my pace. He told me I am bowling to players of really high calibre, but asked me to be confident in my approach.
"I did as he said and I got the wickets of two of the world`s best batsmen. I have no clue what magic his words have on me, but I always do well when he talks to me and boosts my confidence," Chandila was quoted as saying.
Asked if he had planned how to bowl against a strong MI batting line up, Chandila said, "When our batsmen were scoring freely, I thought the wicket was really good for batting and sitting at the dug-out I was planning how to approach the game. I had planned to bowl slowly and vary my pace.
"It worked as I got the biggest scalps from the Mumbai Indians batting line up."
Chandila, who idolises Pakistan`s legendary off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, agreed that his height is an added advantage.
"I feel my biggest advantage is my height. Whenever I talk to any of the batsmen during the net sessions or during domestic tournaments, they always say that it is tough to read me from that kind of height.
"The biggest compliment I have got in my life is from Rahul Dravid when he said, that he has played the world`s best spinners throughout his career, but when he bats against me, it is tough to read my grip and read me through my release. Those compliments are still etched in my mind," he elaborated.
Asked what his Rajasthan Royals` skipper Dravid told him while handing him the new ball against MI, the bowler said, "Rahul Dravid Sir is like God for me. He just placed his hands on my head before the first over and said, `Ajit, you will bowl well. Just be confident when you are bowling and the rest will take care of itself.`
"Those words were in my head as I went to bowl. I am glad it worked and I hope it works whenever I get a chance to play."