Recently, in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season (2019/20), Railways stunned everyone after beating the star-studded Mumbai at Wankhede Stadium (Mumbai). The 24-year-old right-arm pacer Himanshu Sangwan was one of the stars in that game for Railways who destroyed Mumbai’s second innings. He has credited the legendary Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath for his early success in the professional career.
It was the Round 3 stage of the Ranji Trophy 2019/20 (started on 25th December 2019), where Railways beat the 41-time Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai by ten wickets. After the Railways captain Karn Sharma decided to field first, Mumbai were bundled out for just 114 runs in the first innings. T Pradeep, who made the first-class debut this season, bagged six wickets (6/37) in that innings.
After Karn Sharma’s century (112*) and Arindam Ghosh’s 72 runs knock, Railways managed to score 266 runs in their first innings and had the lead of 152 runs.
Himanshu Sangwan became a star during Mumbai’s second innings when his dominating bowling helped to bowl out the hosts for just 198 runs. Sangwan had the bowling figures of 22-5-60-5. Earlier in the first innings, he had the bowling figures of 9-2-33-1.
Later, Railways chased down the 47 runs target in the fourth innings without losing their wickets. While the skipper Karn Sharma won the Player of the Match award, experts are also praising Himanshu Sangwan.
After the end of the Round 3 of the Ranji Trophy 2019/20, Himanshu Sangwan took 12 wickets. He made the debut in professional cricket in the ongoing domestic season. He has played three first-class matches, eight List A games and five T20s, where he picked up 12, 14 and three wickets respectively.
Glenn McGrath is my idol – Himanshu Sangwan
In March 2019, Himanshu Sangwan spent a short time at the MRF Pace Foundation. During that stint, he met with his idol Glenn McGrath who gave him important advice. Sangwan has admitted that those advices are helping him a lot in the Ranji Trophy.
He told TOI, “I take inspiration from Australia legend Glenn McGrath. He is my idol. I learnt a lot from McGrath during my stint at the MRF Pace Foundation. I was there for a short camp in March (2019). He used to watch my videos and tell me the areas where I should improve. He is a legend of the game. He told me one thing – ‘when in trouble, go to the basics’.
“I bowled many deliveries under his (McGrath’s) supervision and he was taking notes. After every session, he used to motivate me and tell me technical things. ‘Stick to the basics and stay patient’ – these are the two things I will always remember from McGrath. Honestly, his guidance is helping me a lot in the Ranji Trophy.”
Himanshu Sangwan revealed their preparation to handle Mumbai cricketers
During the Ranji Trophy match against Mumbai, Himanshu Sangwan dismissed the international cricketers Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane in the third innings. Sangwan revealed their pre-game planning before that match.
He said, “We had a team meeting head of the Mumbai match. Our coach said we are not underdogs. We also have good batsmen and bowlers in the team. He said don’t think who is on strike. Whether it is Rahane or Shaw, go and bowl in the right areas. We bowled in the right areas and we got the success against a top team like Mumbai. It was a magnificent feeling to beat a top team and that too in their own den.”
Himanshu Sangwan also shared how he picked the wickets of Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane in that match.
He added, “I knew Prithvi is an attacking player. He will always look to attack. So I didn’t panic and bowled in some specific areas, with change of pace. This worked well against Prithvi. But when Rahane came to the crease, the thought of him being one of the best Test batsmen in the world crossed my mind. He is India’s No. 3 and vice captain of the Indian Test team. I bowled in the right areas and wanted him to play the outside-off- stump deliveries. That’s how I got him. I had plans for both Rahane and Prithvi.”
Himanshu Sangwan also credited his coach and captain for his success. He also praised his fellow right-arm pacer T Pradeep who took eight wickets in that Mumbai match, including 6/37 in the first innings.
Sangwan said, “My coach Harvinder Singh sir and captain Karn Sharma have helped me a lot. They sit and make plans and those plans have worked well in our favour. In my opinion, our bowling attack is capable of doing wonders against top teams. Our matches against Mumbai and UP are examples of this. I am getting a lot of support from my fellow pacer T Pradeep. He is a talented bowler.”