Chetan Sakariya made a dream debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL), displaying a superb performance with the ball for Rajasthan Royals (RR) against Punjab Kings (PBKS) at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Monday.

The 22-year-old quick was the pick of the bowlers, taking three wickets for 31 runs in his quota of four overs.

Chetan gave the opening blow to Punjab by removing Mayank Agarwal in the third over. He then bowled the final over of first innings, and got another big scalp in KL Rahul, who was dismissed for 91 and followed it up with the wicket of Jhye Richardson on his last delivery.

“I used to try the bowling action of Junaid Khan”

Sakariya was picked for Rs 1.2 crore in the 2021 IPL mini-auction on February 18 this year.

Coming from a village, 10 kilometres from Bhavnagar in Gujarat, life wasn’t easy for him. His maternal uncle used to take care of his expenses for education, cricket equipment and training at the Sir Bhavsinhji Cricket Academy.

In return, Sakariya had to help him in his business.

“When I was in school, I had to balance studies and cricket. But after completing my 12th I focussed on cricket. I would train in the evening and in the first half, I would work for my uncle,” Sakariya told IANS.

When he was in class 10th, his school coach immediately enrolled him into the Bhavsinhji Academy. From there, Sakariya got a chance to play U-16 for Saurashtra.

He was then picked for MRF Pace Foundation where he spent five months and worked on his bowling action and fitness.

“I played for the Saurashtra under-19 and also the under-23 teams. Soon, I was called up for the senior team’s probables and was put in the loop. The coaches said that with experience I would improve,” he added.

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