Gautam Gambhir has the best cricketing brain in LSG squad, I liked how he thinks in a very distinct way: Jasmer Dhankhar [Interview]

'I was impressed by KL Rahul during the practice session,' said Dhankhar.

VAISHNAVI IYER

Jr. Staff Writer

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Published - Jun 14, 2022, 16:22 IST | Updated - Jun 15, 2022, 21:55 IST

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India’s domestic cricket circuit has seen many young faces emerge every year, who go on to become big stars in the IPL, followed by making their way into the national side. One such star in the making is Uttar Pradesh’s Jasmer Dhankhar, a spinner by profession, a member of the UP Ranji squad, who also served as a reserve player at the Lucknow Super Giants’ camp in the recently concluded IPL 2022 season.

The 23-year-old had left his team skipper Karan Sharma, and other team members, impressed by bagging a three-wicket haul on his debut Ranji game for UP against Maharashtra. In an exclusive interview with CricTracker, the rising star spoke about his experience at the IPL 2022, the learning points throughout his time with LSG, and the fun moments that he shared with the members of the team.

Here are the excerpts from Jasmer Dhankhar’s interview:

As LSG was a new franchise and new group was formed, how long did it take for players to gel up and form a bond in a short span of time?

LSG is a terrific franchise. It never seemed like it was a new franchise making its debut at the huge event. Because the coaches and members of the support staff had established such an environment, we never felt left out, there was a closeness amongst the players from the beginning. So, from the first day, it was apparent that the adventure with the side would be incredible.

A piece of advice you received in IPL 2022 that you will remember throughout your career?

The single piece of advice, which I felt was particularly appropriate and important, was to live in the moment. As a player, you have a tendency to ponder about the future, which makes you uneasy and causes a lot of thoughts to rush through your head. As a result, I believe it is essential to live in the moment.

What is the single best lesson you took from the whole experience?

The most important thing I’ve learned is to keep working hard toward my goal. What helped me the most was looking at the players’ performance and learning from them in every match. During practice sessions, we try to emulate what we learned from the match. I keep that in my mind, always, throughout the practice and it proved to be very useful and helpful to me.

Which team-mate of yours impressed you the most during practice and otherwise?

I was impressed by KL Rahul, and the way he prepares himself makes it seem like he’s batting in a match rather than in the nets. That was an eye-opener for me since he doesn’t play a single ball casually. A player like him who is so focused on cricket, and his lifestyle, is rather reserved. I loved how he expresses himself to the rest of the world and I enjoyed watching him play.

Who was that one senior pro who took you under their wing?

It was our bowling coach Narendra Hirwani who kept pushing me. That felt really nice because he is someone who was a star player during his time. He worked on my game and supported me throughout. That was a big motivational factor during my journey.

What changed in you after having such an experience?

The process changed my mindset, as a person. It was a great experience for me personally and professionally as well. I will never forget this journey.

Who do you reckon had the best cricketing brain in LSG squad?

I felt Gautam Gambhir had the best cricketing brain. I liked how he thinks in a very distinct way.

How was it interacting with Gautam Gambhir?

Gautam Gambhir is a very honest and upbeat individual. Every squad needs someone with his characteristics. He may even be brutally honest at times, which is exactly what you need.

Did Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya’s earlier feud have any effect on the team’s surroundings earlier in the season?

No, we didn’t have any of those feelings, and I don’t believe it was ever a problem since everything was so relaxed. We didn’t even have the impression that there was an issue. Things happen on the field, and we go on as professional cricketers. We don’t hold on to such grudges.

Was there any prankster in the LSG dressing room? If yes, recall an anecdote about his antics.

Umm, Karan Sharma was a prankster in the camp. I remember how he put ice on Ankit Rajpoot when the pacer was giving an interview. It was fun!