Success in sport depends on different factors and that is the reason why two people starting at the same time may end up with contrasting fortunes in the same sport.
As they faced off during Match 43 of IPL 2022 between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Titans at the Brabourne Stadium here, two cricketers from Delhi — Virat Kohli and Pradeep Sangwan — presented a case study of how destiny plays its role in success.
Kohli and Sangwan started around the same time and were part of the Indian under-19 cricket team that won the 2008 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia. Kohli was the captain of the team and Sangwan, the left-arm pacer who had modeled himself on the lines of Pakistan legend Wasim Akram, too was a success, claiming eight wickets for India in the tournament. Both of them were fast-tracked into the IPL in the inaugural season with Delhi Daredevils picking Sangwan and Royal Challengers Bangalore drafting Kohli.
Their paths changed after that and today while Kohli is the most successful batter in IPL history, Sangwan has spent his time at different franchises — going from the playing XI to being a net bowler for Delhi Capitals in 2020.
The 31-year-old from Rasiwas in Delhi has represented Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Gujarat Lions and is now with Gujarat Titans, the new IPL franchise. In between, he had also earned some unwanted notoriety as the first IPL player to fail a random dope test in 2013 while playing for KKR.
On Saturday, Sangwan was included in the Gujarat Titans playing XI and came out as their best bowler in the field, claiming two wickets for 2/19 off his four overs.
He bowled superbly, moved the ball initially and varied pace and angle to keep the batters guessing. He was called up to bowl the second over and got the wicket of Royal Challengers skipper Faf du Plessis for zero, inducing an edge for Wriddhiman Saha to pouch a simple catch.
Sangwan set up du Plessis superbly, bowling two in-swingers and followed that up with one that went straight as du Plessis tried to make room and could manage only to edge it behind.
In his second spell, Sangwan got the dangerous Patidar as he top-edged a paddle shot to square leg where Shubman Gill completed an easy catch.
Sangwan said the ball was gripping a bit and made full use of the conditions to emerge as the best Gujarat Titans bowler on the day.
Sangwan is quite experienced on the domestic circuit, having played 58 first-class matches for Delhi in which he claimed 178 wickets. In List A matches, he has taken 94 wickets in 58 matches while in 92 T20 matches, he has taken 100 wickets.
He is a decent batter too and has scored a hundred and four half-centuries in First-class cricket.
Now that he got a chance to impress in IPL 2022, Sangwan would be hoping to get a few more matches to play and more success.