Delhi Capitals (DC) handed out an Indian Premier League (IPL debut to Ripal Patel against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). It was a fanboy moment for the 26-year-old from Gujarat who looks up to MS Dhoni and now hopes to become a finisher like him.
Ripal in his debut innings scored 18 off 20 deliveries as his side registered a three-wicket victory. "It was a different feeling altogether to see Mahi bhai behind the stumps when I took guard. It felt really good that Mahi bhai was watching me play.
"I started playing cricket watching Mahi bhai and I am looking to become a finisher like him," Patel was quoted as saying in a release issued by his franchise DC.
"After the game, I asked him how he finishes every match, how he thinks on the field and what goes on in his mind while chasing a score. We had a good chat and he gave me a lot of confidence."
Ripal received his maiden IPL cap from leg-spinner Amit Mishra. Speaking of how he felt when he received his cap, Ripal said, "I was really happy when I received my cap from Mishy bhai (Amit Mishra). It didn't feel like it was my first match. I felt really good going into the match. I just looked to back myself and enjoy every part of the game."
"When I went into bat (at 71/3), we needed to score at a run-a-ball pace. I aimed to finish the match for the team. Shikhar bhai (Dhawan) told me to take my time at the crease, so I took my time and enjoyed my batting."
Ripal also enjoyed watching Kagiso Rabada finish the match with a boundary in the last over. "It was very important for us to win the match. It was a crunch situation when we needed 2 runs from 3 balls. We were looking for a couple of runs and it was great to see Rabada hit a boundary."
"I was disappointed that I didn't finish the match, but it was great that the team won and reached 20 points."
DC, who have already qualified for the playoffs, take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their final match of the group stage on Friday (October 8).
(With inputs from PTI)