Rajasthan offspinner Ajit Chandila celebrating with Brad Hodge after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar. (BCCI)
Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals offspinner Ajit Chandila is known for the hat-trick he took last IPL; but he would have any day traded that with what he achieved on Wednesday evening - getting batting legends Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting out.
"You can take my hat-trick. These two wickets matter a lot more to me than my hat-trick last year ... It is like a dream come true for me. Taking the wickets of two legends of the game is like a double hat-trick for me," Chandila, who plays for Haryana in the Ranji Trophy, told the IPL website after Rajasthan's 87-run win over Mumbai Indians on Wednesday.
Chandila credited his success to former India legspinner Narendra Hirwani and his captain at Rajasthan Rahul Dravid's advice before he went in to bowl. "I have no clue what magic his [Hirwani's] words have on me. I always do well when he talks to me and boosts my confidence. I was really nervous when I had that ball in my hand. Before the match, I was advised by Narendra Hirwani Sir to stick to my line and length and vary my pace. He told me I am bowling to players of really high calibre, but asked me to be confident in my approach," the offspinner said of his spell of 2 for 6 in two overs.
The tall offie equated Rahul Dravid to 'God', a title largely reserved for Sachin Tendulkar. "Rahul Dravid Sir is like God for me. He just placed his hands on my head before the first over and said, 'Ajit, you will bowl well. Just be confident when you are bowling and the rest will take care of itself'. Those words were in my head as I went to bowl. I am glad it worked today and I hope it works whenever I get a chance to play."
Chandila first had Tendulkar caught sweeping across the line in his first over and then dismissed Ponting caught and bowled in his next to rattle Mumbai's difficult chase after Ajinkya Rahane's 54-ball 68 not out led Rajasthan to 179 in 20 overs.