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IPL 2021: Started playing cricket watching MS Dhoni, I want to become a finisher like him – Ripal Patel

IPL 2021: Ripal Patel, who made his debut for Delhi Capitals in the IPL on Monday, said he felt special to bat in front of his idol, MS Dhoni. The 26-year-old hit a crucial 18 in DC’s 3-wicket win over CSK.

Want to become a finisher like MS Dhoni, says DC’s Ripal Patel (Courtesy of BCCI)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ripal Patel said he grew up watching MS Dhoni play
  • 26-year-old Ripal Patel made his IPL debut for Delhi Capitals on Monday
  • Ripal Patel had an opportunity to chat with Dhoni after DC’s win over CSK in Dubai
Ripal Patel could not have asked for a bigger moment to make his Indian Premier League debut. The 26-year-old, a highly-rated big-hitter from Gujarat, won his maiden Delhi Capitals cap in a top-tier battle against Chennai Super Kings in Match 50 of IPL 2021.

Ripal Patel was going up against his childhood hero, MS Dhoni after having replaced Australia’s star batter Steve Smith as Delhi Capitals went in with just 3 overseas players for the big-ticket match.

It was a memorable debut for Ripal Patel as he got an opportunity to bat alongside Shikhar Dhawan in a tense chase on a tricky pitch. Ripal exuded confidence as he hit an 20-ball 18, before falling to Ravindra Jadeja.

Ripal Patel’s debut was made more memorable as he had an opportunity to have chat with MS Dhoni after Delhi Capitals won the match by 3 wickets.

“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,” Ripal Patel told Delhi Capitals.

“I started playing cricket watching Mahi bhai and I am looking to become a finisher like him.

“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.”

Didn’t feel like it was my first IPL match: Patel

Ripal Patel, who has made a name for himself in the domestic T20 circuit where he strikes at close to 190, said he did not feel the pressure of playing his first IPL match and credited the Delhi Capitals’ environment for making him feel at ease.

“I was really happy when I received my cap from Mishy bhai. 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,” he added.

Delhi Capitals regained the top spot with 10 wins from 13 matches and are assured of a finish in the top 2 if they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in their final group-stage match.

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