Rajasthan Royals off-spinner Ajit Chandila, who rose to prominence after claiming the first hat-trick in this year's Indian Premier League, on Sunday attributed his success to former India spinner Narendra Hirwani for his encouraging words.
Playing only his second game of the tournament, the unheralded off-spinner Chandila accounted for four wickets in his team's 45-run win over Pune Warriors at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. The Haryana spinner got to know about his selection in the playing eleven just before the start of the match.
"It was skipper Rahul Dravid who gave me the confidence and informed me that I was playing the match. I talked to Narendra Hirwani sir and asked for his advice saying it was an important match," said Chandila after the victory.
"Hirwani sir suggested me to stick to the basics and try and bowl in right areas and not to allow batsmen to get to the pitch of the ball. He also added that don't take any pressure. His words gave me a lot of confidence. The support of Rahul bhai has also been great.
"I had been watching the likes of Sourav Ganguly and have also seen Robin Uthappa bat, so I knew where to bowl. I just tried to bowl in those areas and got the dividends," said Chandila, who has played two first-class matches and 13 Twenty20 matches for Haryana.
The young off-spinner dismissed Jesse Ryder, skipper Ganguly, Uthappa and Anustup Majumdar off successive deliveries to claim the first hat-trick of the tournament.
Chandila said that wicketkeeper Sreevats Goswami did a great job behind the stumps.
"The credit should also be given to Goswami who was brilliant behind the stumps. It's a team game and you need the help of your teammates," he said.
Chandila joked that mysterious off-spinner, West Indies Sunil Narine has copied his bowling style.
"I have not copied Sunil but I think he has copied my style," he replied laughingly.
On a serious note, he said, "I am pleased with my performance. I am who I am."
Asked whether today's performance will help him in his career, the 28-year-old said, "It is only the beginning and there is a long way to go."