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Rajasthan Royals' Chetan Sakaria is Hopeful, They Will Reach IPL Playoffs

Rajasthan Royals will restart their campaign on September 21 against Punjab Kings.

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Sports
3 min read
Chetan Sakariya celebrates a wicket for Rajasthan Royals. 
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With Rajasthan Royals currently occupying the fifth spot in the IPL table ahead of its resumption, left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya reckons that his team has a good chance of making it to the playoffs, when the second phase of the tournament begins on September 19 in the UAE.

"I think whichever matches we won were extraordinary matches because we were able to achieve unachievable targets. And whichever matches we lost, they were close matches, except the RCB one. Therefore, I just want to focus on doing well for my team because I know that if I'm able to contribute, we will be able to win and hopefully make it to the playoffs," said Sakariya.

Snapped up by the Rajasthan at the IPL Auction for 1.2 crore, the left-arm pacer went on to impress everyone with his bowling in the first phase of IPL 2021, picking up seven wickets in as many matches.

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Speaking from his home town of Bhavnagar, Sakariya reflected on the past six months, "When I was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals, the only thing running in my mind was that they had shown so much faith in me. I wanted to make sure that I was performing well and helping the team win. I think I did a decent job whenever I was given the responsibility."

"Then to make it to the Indian team, it has been a dream come true. When I first heard of it, there were a lot of thoughts in my head, but I was unable to believe it. I pinched myself because I was wondering if it was even true. I didn't think of it in a way that I would get to play or not, just being a part of that dressing room was a huge moment for me," he added.

The 23-year-old was accompanied by Royals' captain Sanju Samson during their recent tour of Sri Lanka and shared an anecdote from their conversation. "When we were at RR earlier this year and I had played a few matches, we were in the nets talking about how I could get my pace up, but Sanju bhai called me and said, 'You're doing well and are unique because you have the swing, so you should try to bowl fast but make sure that it doesn't affect your ability to swing the ball. Remember my words when I sa' that you'll play for India very soon.' So, as soon as I got selected for India and we met in Sri Lanka, he made me remember that day and asked me to keep focusing on the right things, and wished me well. So that was really nice of him."

Sakariya also shared what his coach and former Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid said to him during their first interaction.

"After having completed a two-week quarantine in Sri Lanka, we had a get-together and everyone was either working out or stretching outdoors, and I was taking a rest near the poolside when Rahul sir came up to me and said, 'Hi Chetan, Rahul here.' I was shocked and startled at first because I couldn't believe that it was really him, but I stoo‘ up and said 'hi' to him. I introduced myself and he asked me about my family background, playing experience, etc. He also asked about cricket in Saurashtra and how we've been doing well in the last five years, and complimented me for my bowling, and said he had followed my journey during the IPL, and that he liked how I bowled with the new and the old ball. So, it felt amazing that a legend like him knew who I was and was following my performances."

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