‘Wouldn’t want to bowl to Russell even in nets’ : Siddhesh Lad

Abu Dhabi: Mumbai all-rounder Siddhesh Lad, a member of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in this year IPL, has said he would not want to bowl to the destructive West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell, even in the nets.

Lad said, “I will have to bowl to him in the nets at some stage now obviously. (laughs) I have already faced Bumrah in the nets and in domestic matches. So, I somewhat know what to expect.”

“With Russell, I have seen how destructive he can get. I have never bowled to him. So, I think it is the uncertainty of the whole thing that made me say that I don’t want to bowl to Andre Russell,” he said in an interview on
Lad said, “I have seen the best players of death bowling – MS Dhoni, Ab de Villiers and Andre Russell – very closely. Cricketer is a power game now. You need to hit a lot of sixes. So, you need to know what all shots you have with which you can hit the 6s and 4s at the death.”

The 28-year-old Mumbaikar is just one-match-old in the IPL, but his moderately vast experience in domestic cricket makes a strong case for him ahead of the IPL 2020 auction.

Lad said, “I have missed playing in IPL, which is the biggest platform for cricket in India. I have had pretty decent domestic seasons But I feel, if I can back it up with some good IPL seasons, it will be quite a boost for my future.”

“I have been preparing for the highest level of cricket all this while. As of now, I am playing Ranji but I ensure that I practise enough in a way that gives me the required preparation for an international career someday as well. I am making sure whenever I get that kind of opportunity, I do well,” he said.

Lad said, “I have always bowled off spin since my school days. But I never spent a  lot of time developing my bowling skills as I was too fond of batting. However, I realised soon that bowling is also very important and since the last three years, I have spent quite some time with my bowling coach. He felt that I could do well with
the ball. I took a few bowling sessions with him and I guess that’s why I could take the fifer this season. I think it is very important to bring some value to the table. Any dimension that you can add to your skills is helpful. This is why I started bowling. And it is helping me now.”

“We don’t get to play a lot of T20s in a calendar year because of the extensive Ranji season. So that particular camp was all the more important for me because we faced a lot of match simulations there. We were preparing to adjust to all kinds of situations. Hence, the experience was really good. Everyone was quite supportive, including our assistant bowling coach Omkar Salvi and physio Kamlesh Jain, who helped me sort out some of my niggles,” he said.

Lad said, “I have known Abhishek for a long time now. When I started cricket for a club, he was there. When I made my First Class debut for the Mumbai Ranji team, he was one of the senior members of the team. Even as a youngster, I had easy access to him so I could ask questions. He has always been very helpful. I also find
a lot of positive vibes around him. He builds a certain culture in and around the team which is quite enjoyable.”

“The KKR Academy really helped me figure this out. I spent a lot of time there to understand my own game. I needed to realise in which areas I should score runs in what situation. Taking calculated risks is very important in T20 cricket and I think the camp helped me crack this. I also learned new shots which help me beat the fielders,”
he said.

Lad said, “Frankly speaking, I was batting more at the top order than at the death. We could just spend two weeks in the camp and were gradually progressing towards those situations, like death overs. But due to the lockdown, everyone had to go back home.”

“I make sure that if I bat for an hour, I at least bowl for 20 minutes and field for half an hour. I am working on all three dimensions. See, batting is important for me, so I am focusing more on it. But I am also putting in a lot of effort both for my bowling and fielding,” he added.

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