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Never expected to share dressing room with Kallis: Bisla

KKR opener talks about his CLT20 learning experiences

Manvinder Bisla, who played magical innings to help the Kolkata Knight Riders win IPL 2012, has not been just resting on his laurels. The wicketkeeper-batsman has continued to do the hard yards and is constantly practicing for conditions he would encounter while playing here in South Africa. A keen student of the game, he has done his homework before coming into CLT20 2012. Although he did not get off to a good start in the first match, he was KKR’s second highest run-getter in the match against the Auckland Aces. Constantly looking to improve himself, he has been making the most of the opportunity to interact with senior international players and learning from them.

While speaking to clt20.com, he described what it meant for him to share the dressing room with the likes of Jacques Kallis. He also discussed how he tried to simulate South African conditions in India to practice batting. 

Excerpts from his interview:

You seem to be carrying forward you IPL form. How have you been working on it?

I am working hard for this. I have been preparing well, so I think that is paying off now.

What is difference between the wickets you played on during the IPL and these wickets?

The wickets in India towards the end of the IPL season become slow. Here the season is starting now so the wickets are fresh and there is bounce in them. As cricketers we have prepare accordingly. And everyone has come here prepared.

How have you prepared yourself to play here?

Before coming here I had spoken to Gautam Gambhir about what kind of wickets we will get here and what to expect and how I can prepare for the conditions we will be dealing with here. So based on what he had told me and after talking to our assistant coach Vijay Dahiya, I practiced and prepared for playing here.

What exactly did you do while preparing?

Due to the rainy season we were not getting turf wickets anywhere in India, so I practiced batting on cement wickets with new balls. On the cement wickets the ball comes faster on to the bat and there is more bounce. We also have synthetic balls, which have more bounce. I have tried to prepare myself using all these things.

Did you make any changes to your batting for playing in the T20 format?

I didn’t have to make any specific changes to my batting. I have always been an attacking batsman. And I am thankful to God that everything that I did connected and we could win the IPL final.

How have these opportunities to play in the IPL and CLT20 helped you?

I had never thought that I would ever share a dressing room with Jacques Kallis or talk to him about batting or about cricket in general. It is a huge thing for me. Am sure the others [domestic cricketers] must be experiencing the same things.

What have you learnt from international players?

Sometimes I throw away my wicket early. By watching these players and what they do and how they score runs I have learnt a lot. It is a different experience to watch them play from the dressing room and watching them on television.

Is height a bit of a disadvantage while ‘keeping wicket?

There is no disadvantage according to me. It depends on how you look at it. For me, if my height is good, my reach is better. If one is a shorter player, he will be quicker. So, there is an advantage either way.

Bowlers and batsmen speak about the difference in conditions back home and here, and how it affects their game. As a ‘keeper is it any different for you?

Yes, things do change when you are ‘keeping wicket here. Here the ball doesn’t turn but skids, so accordingly while ‘keeping for a fast bowler the ball comes on faster; so there is a lot of difference. When you practice you realise what kind of pace is there in the wickets and adjust accordingly.

How has the journey been for you from domestic cricket to IPL and CLT20?
It has been a good journey for me. While playing domestic I got to play in the IPL. The season was good and we became champions. So, it is huge thing for me.

Moving ahead what are your plans?

I don’t think too far ahead. I hope to do well in the next two games. I have to do better and help the team win. And then I am looking forward to the domestic season back home.

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