IPL 2021: Shami is unbelievable, want to pick his brains and learn, says Meredith: The Indian Premier League (IPL) has over the years worked as the perfect platform for youngsters to shine and cement their places in the national team. And it would be no different for young Australia pacer Riley Meredith.
The youngster was bought by Punjab Kings for Rs 8 crore at the mini-auction in February after a fierce bidding war with Delhi Capitals. In an interaction with ANI, Meredith opened up about his expectations from the season and also revealed how he wishes to learn from seasoned campaigners like Mohammed Shami and Chris Jordon and return a further improved bowler.
“Probably just looking forward to I guess, watching games and watching the best players in the world every day. It is a pretty exciting prospect, obviously being able to play against them will be pretty unbelievable as well, just looking to learn a lot and hopefully some great experiences,” said Meredith.
“I think the biggest challenge (of being in bio-bubble) is boredom really. There is not too much to do so you are trying to keep your mental health occupied all the time. Obviously, it is sometimes tricky, watching TV and getting some physical exercise certainly helps,” he said.
When asked what he wants to learn from the likes of Shami and Jordon, Meredith said: “Obviously, Mohammed Shami is an unbelievable bowler, not just international wise, last few IPLs, he has been unbelievable and he has been taking lots of wickets. The best part of his game is that he can do the job at any point be it the start or at the death overs or during the middle. It is probably something everyone wants to do and I will try to pick his brains and learn.
“Jordon is probably one of the better death-over bowler going around at the moment in franchise cricket. The fact that he has been able to do it all over the world across different competitions speaks about how good he is. I will definitely try to tap into what he does and hopefully, I can add a few tricks to my game,” added the 24-year-old.
Before the IPL, Meredith also made his international debut for Australia as he played in three T20Is against New Zealand earlier this year. In the three T20Is, he managed to pick up four wickets. He made his foray into the Australian line-up on the back of taking 16 wickets from 13 matches for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League (BBL).
He is also looking to play under young skipper KL Rahul and learn from him on playing at the highest level. “KL Rahul is a huge figure in cricket, not just in Indian cricket, but the world cricket. Pretty much a rockstar really. It would be interesting to get to know him a little better and see how he operates. I haven’t had too many interactions with him yet, just a few messages. I would be out of quarantine soon, so I look forward to meeting him.
“In terms of batting line-up of our side, I was trying to get through it the other day, it was a bit of head scratch, so much firepower there in the top order and middle,” he said.”I think so, yeah, obviously coming into probably one of the biggest T20 competitions in the world, I think if you perform over here, you will be able to perform anywhere in the world. You know if you can do well here, raise a few eyebrows and you know get selection your way. Being playing on those smaller grounds in New Zealand does me give me confidence as I was able to take wickets there. As a cricketer, it is about adapting to the grounds and pitches,” he added.
Along with Meredith, England batsman Dawid Malan, Australia pacer Jhye Richardson, Australia all-rounder Moises Henriques and uncapped all-rounder Shahrukh Khan were also picked up by Punjab Kings at the player’s auction.
“Definitely helps (having a familiar face around). Having Jhye Richardson, Moises Henriques, and Dawid Malan whom I have played a bit with Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL. I suppose it helps in getting acclimatise quicker, having a few blokes that you know are you are comfortable with, it definitely makes it a lot easier,” Meredith signed off.