Just like many other Indian greats, Ravi Bishnoi was yet another boy from who used to play Gully cricket with a tennis ball and could only dream of playing for India one day. Well, now, as we can see, he has done it all and will surely do more so as his career proceeds. Ravi says that he still feels surprised at how he climbed through the ranks playing for India.
Let us unfold how this young small boy from Jodhpur did all of it through his flippers, Sliders, Leggies, and Googlys against the best players in the World.
Early days and how he rose to the Under 19 ranks
Greatness surely comes through struggle and uncertainty; to conquer it all, you need to believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who’ll always give you that reassurance. That is what Ravi Bishnoi was all about; the man went through countless unselections and disqualifications even after playing well, not just with the ball but also with the bat. But Ravi Bishnoi was meant for greatness; even after all the rejections, he never stopped performing, nor did she stop trying.
His selection at the Under 19 started when he caught the eyes of selectors after getting rejected in the top 200 selection. Getting a chance by many requests. He ended up impressing in selection rounds and in the selection matches. During his debut match in the debut season of Vijay Hazare’s trophy, he ended up bagging a 5-wicket haul, leading up to being the leading wicket-taker of the entire season with 22 wickets. Then, in the following Ranji trophy, he was the leading wicket-taker yet again, taking 47 wickets.
These empathic performances led him to a place in the Under 19 World Cup Squad, where he bamboozled each and every opposition with his wizardry. Yet again, Bishnoi was the leading wicket-taker of the tournament, and if you have seen the under-19 final against Bangladesh, it was Bishnoi who absolutely perplexed all of the batters, bagging a four-wicket haul in his ten overs, conceding only 30 runs. If the rain hadn’t happened, maybe the men in blues would’ve won the World Cup. After that, under 19 World Cup tenure, he was selected by the Punjab Kings, and the man hasn’t stopped since.
The buzz he created through IPL
IPL is a place where leggies, mystery spinners, left-arm pacers, and all-rounders are always given priority. It is a place where you get to express yourself in the grandest stage of franchise leagues.
Did you know Bishnoi almost played for Rajasthan Royals?
Something that many don’t know is that Bishnoi was supposed to play for Rajasthan Royals in the 2019 season of IPL; he impressed the management as a net bowler, getting out the likes of Sanju Samson and Jost Butler multiple times. This led to the then-batting coach of RR, Amol Muzumdar, noticing his talent and letting him play in the practice games. It was unfortunate that Bishnoi couldn’t play for IPL for RR that season since IPL has a policy that the player either has to be under 19 or played Ranji Trophy.
His IPL Legacy
Bishnoi, after being the highest wicket-taker of the under 19 World Cup of a successful team, went to the final; it was inevitable that he’d land a formidable team. He got selected by Kings 11 Punjab, a team packed with stars like Maxwell, KL Rahul, Gayle, Pooran, and various other players.
He got bought by Punjab for two crore rupees, and in his debut match against Delhi Capitals, he got Rishab Pant as his debut wicket. He ended up having 12 wickets in 14 matches which is pretty good for any international or local player, let alone a 19-year-old. In the coming year, he was retained by Punjab again, where he delivered as promised, getting 13 wickets in just 9 matches.
After his tenure with Punjab, in the 2022 mega auction, the newest team, Lucknow Super Giants, got him for 4 crore, and he has been a part of the LSG side ever since then, being one of the leading bowlers. In 2023, he was instrumental in the side reaching the playoffs, having 16 wickets in 15 matches.
International Debut to being the number one ranked bowler in T2OIs
It is quite a surprise for many to see Ravi Bishnoi being in the number 1 rank of the T20i bowler list, where there’s an elite list of bowlers. But if you look at all of his stats and consistent performances, you can comprehend why it makes sense.
He made his debut in the Eden Gardens in 2022 against West Indies, where he was awarded the Man of the Match for his 2 for 17 runs. Ever since then, the man has played a wide range of teams in various conditions, having an average economy of 7.15. His best figure was also against West Indies in the 5th T20 at Lauderhill, bagging an impressive 4/16 even though he was in the losing side.
In his last series against Australia, Bishnoi cemented his name in the T20i squad for the men in blues by being the man of the series, winning it 4-1, having nine wickets with a best figure of 3/32, which led him to become the number 1 T20i ranked bowler in the world seconding Rashid Khan. Currently, he is 2nd in the ranking, with Adil Rashid at the top.
With only one ODI match against South Africa where he looked unconvincing, we look forward to seeing him in action in the ODIs and in the red ball format.
In the T20Is,
Best Figures: 4/16 against West IndiesEconomy: 7.15
In the coming 2024 T20 World Cup, he surely has his eyes set on not just being in the main squad but being in the main XI competing against Kuldeep or the likes of Chalal, Chahar, or Varun Chakravarthy.
His personal life: The people who were there for him
We can think of 4 individuals who had the utmost impact on Bishnoi’s flourishing and progression. The core two have to be his lifelong coaches, Shahrukh bhaiya and Pradyat bhaiya, as he says, and the other two will be his father and Jubin Baru Chacha. The world probably wouldn’t have witnessed the greatness of Ravi Bishnoi if it weren’t for these four individuals.
His coaches, Shahrukh and Pradyat bhaiya were there for him since the very beginning of his career, from building an academy with him and others for 6 long months to making sure he got selected for the under-19 sides and the domestic league. Interestingly, Ravi Bishnoi, in their early days, wanted to become a fast bowler, but then, through their suggestions, he chose to become a leg spinner. These two individuals were the people who had the most hope for Bishnoi and kept their lives invested in him.
From not being selected in the state championship list squad to again not being chosen for the domestic under 19 selection for Rajasthan, through all these failures, Ravi’s two coaches kept on pushing him. And, during his under-19 selection for Rajasthan, where he missed out on the top 200 list of players, it was his coaches who convinced the management to give him a chance, saying that Rajasthan Royals was interested. How could Bishnoi not be selected? This led to Bishnoi getting a trial and getting chosen for Rajasthan, where he ended up playing for the Ranji and Vijay Hazare trophies.
Jobin Baru Chacha, his head coach, was another individual who had a firm belief in Bishnoi. When Bishnoi was ready to leave because of the academic pressures from his father about the 12th-grade exam, Jobin Baru Chacha stopped him and told him to prepare to play for India; exams could be given next year. Those words of encouragement were like a catalyst for Bishnoi to push himself further to improve.
His father also played a pivotal role in letting his son play and by understanding his son’s merit to do well for Team India.
Ravi Bishnoi’s journey from the Jodhpur Gully cricket grounds to the top of the T20I bowling rankings is a credit to his unyielding willpower and the encouragement of essential people in his life. Bishnoi had an incredible journey, surpassing rejections and unselections to thrive in U-19 cricket, leave his imprint in the IPL, and eventually become a star on the international scene. He has gained recognition and the coveted top spot in the bowler rankings thanks to his steady performances, particularly in T20 Internationals. Bishnoi has a bright future ahead of him. His success in cricket is due to his ability as a player as well as the support of his family, coaches, and mentors. Cricket fans look forward to seeing him contribute in a variety of formats as he keeps moving forward in his career, along with the much anticipated T20 World Cup, where India will look forward to bagging the trophy.