Sai Kishore to keep low expectations ahead of IPL mega auction
At this point, R Sai Kishore needs no introduction in Tamil Nadu.
At this point, R Sai Kishore needs no introduction in Tamil Nadu. The 25-year-old left-arm spinner has grown into a household name among the state’s cricketing fraternity in the past few years. From winning Tamil Nadu Premier League and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy to finishing as runner-up in Vijay Hazare Trophy, Sai has had a stand out year in 2021, picking up 31 wickets in 23 matches across the three tournaments for both Chennai Super Gillies and Tamil Nadu.
Sai, who has placed himself a T20 star, is yet to make his IPL debut despite being with the Chennai Super Kings franchise since 2020. With the mega auction coming up, the left-arm spinner is among the hot picks to look out for from Tamil Nadu.
Over the last couple of years, Sai would have sent down more than 1000 overs in the nets during his time with CSK. However, he feels that beyond the quantity of bowling, it is about the players who he had the opportunity to bowl to. “With CSK, players like Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ruturaj Gaikwad and MS Dhoni, you have to be at your best every day. Even then they can take you down easily,” he shares.
“Every day you go back to your room with some feedback and I think I have gained a lot in the last year and a half training with someone like Dhoni, who is one of the best players of spin in the country, has helped me a lot,” he adds.
At the same time, it would only be fair to say that the TNPL has played a vital role in the state’s white-ball success since its inception. Calling it a game changer, Sai said that the state T20 league has fast-tracked his career growth, adding, “it helps the players get used to the external noises so that when you enter the big stage, what happens off the field doesn’t affect you. The way Tamil Nadu is dominating white-ball cricket is only because of TNPL and I think a lot of players will vouch for it. It helps the players become match-ready right from the moment they enter the Tamil Nadu team.”
Sai first put his name up for the 2018 mega auction, but did not get picked. Although, back then he had spoken about how it spurred him to do well, he looks at things a bit differently now.
“I have stopped looking at numbers. In the last couple of years, with my time in CSK, I have become a lot more selfless. I just want to do anything and everything that my team needs from me, whether it’s in the TNPL or in the state team or the Indian team. I want my team to win and I will put my honest effort behind it,” he says.
He feels that the expectations have come down as he believes that there will be someone who will be interested in giving an opportunity for him. “I’m not someone who’s going after money. I believe that there will be some team to show interest in me so that there will be an opportunity for me to compete at the IPL. If that is there, I will be more than happy.” Sai, who has drafted his name for 20 L, said that he is grateful to do something that he loves for a living.
“The learnings from CSK has taken me a long way. So, I don’t mind going to a top franchise like that again, and whenever I get a chance to compete I will be ready for it. I really hope that the teams also sees it that way. That’s the only thing I’d hope for in the auction,” he says.