He spoke to TOI on Tuesday after turning out for BPCL in a league game of the 16th DY Patil T20 Cup in Nerul.
On the support system that he had during his decade-and-a-half long First Class career
You don’t succeed in isolation. There are a host of people who make sacrifices in order for you to succeed. So I felt it important to mention everyone who played a role in the progress of my career when I put out my retirement note on Twitter. I had given it a deep thought.
On whether he has any regrets
There are a few things that are not in your control. Thinking about them will only pull you back. So I am happy that I took over 100 Test wickets. There are many players who deserve to get 100 wickets but have not managed to get them. So I look at the positives rather than dwell on the negatives.
On the road ahead
Right now there are a few things in my mind. I have been doing commentary and I’m associated with the BCCI. I will make a request to the BCCI whether I can go and play in some leagues outside India. So let’s see what happens.
Advice to young left-arm spinners
I believe there are so many opportunities. You tell me how many spinners are there in the country who are ready to go out there and play. I think there are four or five. So there’s a lot of gap. So I feel if you can consistently perform in domestic cricket and go through the grind, you will be rewarded. Look at Nadeem (Shahbaz). He has done so well over the years for his state and whenever he has got a chance. At the end of the day he did get an opportunity to play a Test for India. So you have to be mentally strong.
Regrets about not playing Tests outside the subcontinent
Definitely. Any cricketer would like to go out of the country and challenge himself. Like batsmen, when they go to countries like Australia, England and South Africa. They want to get the runs for the team. I have spoken to many cricketers like (VVS) Laxman bhai and Gauti bhai (Gautam Gambhir). They want to go outside and perform because those conditions are not favourable to us. So as a cricketer I would have loved to go to foreign shores and give my best.
On Dhoni’s impact as a captain
I think MS Dhoni is a bowler’s captain. I believe a bowler should have a captain who understands him. You would have seen a lot of bowlers praise Dhoni. That’s because the support and dimension he gives you. He helps his bowlers with a lot of things like placing the field, ensuring that the bowler’s mind is clear. These things are very important in high-intensity games. Rohit (Sharma) too is a bowler’s captain. I saw this when I played for Mumbai Indians.
On considering coaching as a future option
As a coach you are handling someone else’s career. So I have to be 100% there. When I am ready for that, I will look into coaching. Right now, I am exploring other things.
On whether the episode where you were asked to work on your bowling action affected you
I will tell you very clearly. When I started playing, I developed a few things which were not good for my career. Chucking is something that should be treated like an injury but not as an insult. Because when I heard about it, I was shaken. But imagine that something like that happened to a 14-15 year old player. So it should be treated very carefully and handled very sensitively. With me, the problem was that I was going diagonal and I started running straight. I was back in just 22 days and began playing for Hyderabad again. I played for India ‘A’ as well. So that’s how it went.