"They made even a net bowler like me feel like family" - Mukesh Kumar on his time with Delhi Capitals in IPL 2022 - Sportskeeda

9 months ago 164

Bengal pacer Mukesh Kumar has been picked up by Delhi Capitals (DC) for a whopping INR 5.5 crore in the IPL 2023 auction. Although this is his first IPL contract, Mukesh was a net bowler with the Capitals last season, and that should help him settle in quickly.

Like many young budding cricketers, even Mukesh was in awe of DC head coach and former Australian captain Ricky Ponting. The legend is known for his man-management, something that made the pacer feel good too.

Speaking in an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, here's what Mukesh Kumar said about his experience as a net bowler with the Capitals:

"Excited to be picked up by Delhi because I was a net bowler for them last year. The great thing about them is they even made a net bowler like me feel like a part of the family. That was the first thing that Ricky Ponting sir had said on my first day that we are not a team, we are a family."

Mukesh Kumar shared heartwarming interaction with Ricky Ponting

Mukesh Kumar said that there were about eight net bowlers, including him, with DC. All of them were given equal importance and care by coach Ricky Ponting and the management, just like that players in the actual squad.

Mukesh recalled:

"Generally only the players in the squad for in the huddle, but Ponting sir ensured that we eight net bowlers were also a part of their huddle and a part of each of their strategy."

He added:

"I once got a niggle due to bowling nine days in a row and I informed Ponting sir about it. Without even giving a second thought, he told me to rest completely for two days. He said it was important for me to get back to full fitness. I was moved by the warmth because at that point I was just a net bowler."

Mukesh Kumar also spoke about how closely the DC management have seen him bowl when he was with them last year. He feels confident about his ability to deliver for the Capitals under pressure, saying:

"I had played a couple of practice matches last year and had bowled well. I noticed that whenever I bowled in the nets, Ponting sir, Pravin Amre sir, Shane Watson sir and Ajit Agarkar sir used to take a closer look at my rhythm and seam positioning. It inspired me to work harder because all these are legends of the game. I enjoyed every ball that I bowled as a net bowler."

It will be interesting to see if Mukesh Kumar gets the role of a new ball bowler straightaway at DC.

Edited by Bhargav

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