With increasing competition, increase in shorter format tournaments across the world, the profession of Sidearm Practice is growing every passing day. Nowadays, most of the domestic and international cricketers practice in nets with the help of a professional sidearm specialist. Even IPL and Ranji teams keep a special sidearm specialist in their squad & one such name who is making quick progress as a sidearm specialist is young Rohit Sharma from Haryana. Rohit who is only 21 years old has already made an impact with his art and he works with top level domestic cricketers from Haryana and India. In this short interview, we have asked him some important questions on what it takes to be a sidearm specialist:
What are the basic requirements for one to become a sidearm specialist?
Well, anybody can try bowling sidearm but it takes a lot of hardwork, fitness and technique to master it. To start with, you need basics like a proper spikes, gloves, and a professional sidearm stick. You need to start practicing it alone aiming the stumps. Initially the ball will go to different directions but soon with practice you will able to hit the spot.
What kind of fitness or hardwork is required to master sidearm bowling?
A sidearm specialist needs to have a good shoulder to bowl fast. If he lacks a strong shoulder, then obviously that desired pace won’t come out in your bowling and if that does’nt come, professional cricketers would’nt be that keen to face your bowling either!. Anyone who has the determination to be can master it, even though it varies from person to person but a minimum of 1-2 years of regular practice is enough for one to bowl accurately.
What are the different variations a sidearmer can bowl?
A sidearmer is usually a fast bowler with a stick, so you get almost all the weapons which a fast bowler has. Obviously you need to practice that but once you are done and dusted, you can bowl in multiple variations ranging from inswing, outswing, slower deliveries, back of the hand and bouncers. It requires regular practice to bowl a perfect yorker.
What are some of the key technical points to keep in mind?
Technical points are the releasing points which varies on where to bowl. Leverage sidearms are the best, it helps to play fast bowlers better because sidearms are bowling at a really quick speed and are tough to pick so if we play them well than the bowlers will seem quiet easy. You also need to do training daily to strengthen your shoulders and work on your overall fitness, because if you aren’t fit, you won’t be able to bowl quick or bowl 80-100 deliveries in one go.
What kind of future does this profession hold and what kind of competition or pressure you face while pursuing this profession?
Obviously, the competition is intense, one has to be the best in the business or else you won’t even be visible anywhere. There are so many people who are bowling sidearm so obviously you have to ace your game and offer consistency, quality and variations or else someone else might replace you. The profession of sidearm has increased manifold over the last 3-4 years and now there are almost 1000+ sidearm specialists in India. By the next 3 years, you can add one more zero to this as demand for sidearm specialists is increasing every passing day. Every cricket academy, every association and every professional cricketer nowadays needs their services so definately the future looks positive for sidearmers.
What kind of players have you worked with in the last few years?
I have worked with IPL and Ranji players from across the states. To name a few, Rahul Tewatia (Rajasthan Royals), Mohit Sharma (India & IPL), Shahbaz Ahmed (India A and IPL), Paras Dogra (IPL), Chandra Pal Saini (Ranji Trophy), Rahul Dagar (Ranji Trophy), Rahul Dalal (Ranji Trophy), Pramod Chandila (Ranji Trophy), Sumit Kumar (Ranji Trophy).
What is your vision or what do you want to achieve as a sidearm specialist?
I am fortunate enough to be blessed with natural ability to bowl quick with sidearm, i have over the last few years worked with top level cricketers and it is because of my commitment while giving practice in the nets. I am super blessed to recieve support from Ranji Trophy Player Chandra Pal Saini sir & Haryana Captain Mohit Sharma sir (Indian Cricketer) who has been a big inspiration for me. I aim to be a part of Haryana team, give them the best quality practice and serve my state while my ultimate dream is to be a part of the Indian team.
Here’s wishing Rohit all the luck for a great career ahead as a sidearm specialist.