Mohit Sharma ecstatic on Chennai Super Kings return

Six years ago, the Haryana lad made his debut in CSK colours picking 20 wickets in 15 matches; he represented Kings XI Punjab from 2016 to 2018.

Chennai Super Kings pacer Mohit Sharma at Advanced Hair Studio in Chennai on Wednesday.   -  SANTADEEP DEY

Right-arm medium pacer Mohit Sharma is ecstatic to return to Chennai Super Kings for IPL 2019. ‘Homecoming’ is how he describes the emotion as this is the franchise where he cut his T20 teeth.

Six years ago, the Haryana lad made his debut in CSK colours picking 20 wickets in 15 matches.

“It feels wonderful to return to the club you first played for. It always holds a special place in your heart. I am lucky to be playing for CSK again. Almost all of the cricketing fraternity would agree with me when I say this is the best club out there,” says the India international who represented Kings XI Punjab from 2016 to 2018.

CSK retained 22 players from last season, which includes the old horses Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir to name a few. “There is a fair chance of CSK finishing top again. Even last year, they said it was the grandfather side, but look what happened. It is correct that for the shorter format you need young legs, but is it always about them? No, you need experienced guys as well. The game changes within minutes and if there is added pressure as a veteran you know how to deal with the situation precisely,” Mohit says.

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Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is 37 but he still remains an electric athlete. “Bahubali is how you aptly describe Mahi bhai. He is like the head of the family, taking care of those who are younger. He guides everyone, asking them to work on errors whenever necessary,” he adds.

India skipper Virat Kohli  and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had raised concerns over the use of SG ball in Test cricket last year. Having bowled a lot with SG in domestic cricket, Mohit reasons, “They [SG] are working a lot to fix the issues. They take regular feedbacks from bowlers and ask me as well. Actually, I think SG is a lot better than the red Kookaburra for a fast bowler because it swings a lot and reverses a lot in the end as well.”

Justifying his inclusion into the 2015 World Cup squad in the last minute, Sharma had done a wonderful job assisting Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami, picking 13 wickets in the process.

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He may have fallen off the international radar, but the pacer keeps a close watch on the emerging cricketers. When asked if the exclusion of the Associates from the upcoming World Cup in England will affect the global stature of the sport, he says, “I believe, perfecting something first is better than moving on to other subsequent issues. The development cricket is seeing is quite good. New infrastructure, new players coming in are all good things. It is good that ICC is nicely propagating the sport.”