How do you feel after your performance against Highveld Lions?
It’s a dream come true, actually. And I was waiting for this opportunity. I got those four wickets at the right time. The most important thing is that my team won and I contributed to my team’s victory. I am very happy to have won the Man of the Match award.
You were economical too. Would you call yourself a T20 expert?
Look, I don’t rate myself as a Twenty20 expert. I just like to keep things tight and that really helped me a lot against the Lions on Wednesday.
Your debut in big-ticket cricket happened after your 41st birthday! That’s way beyond most people’s retirement age. How do you keep yourself motivated?
My love for cricket motivates me. I know I still haven’t made it to the national team, but I just enjoy this game and that keeps me going.
Would you say your career has just begun?
I never think like that. My love for cricket inspires me. I don’t know how far this game will take me.
How do you keep yourself fit? Do you go to the gym a lot or you believe in getting fit by playing on the field?
To be honest, I’ve never had any personal trainer in my life. I hired one at the age of 41, just before the IPL earlier this year. We have to keep ourselves fit for Twenty20 matches. I trained under a personal trainer for a month and a half before the Champions League. I think player can keep himself fit while playing regular cricket on the field. I’ve maintained my fitness through normal practice and net sessions. And I believe, that’s enough.
You did well in a Kanga League match last week (6/49). Your team DY Patil won on the last ball against Shivaji Park Youngsters. How do you perform so consistently?
As long as I enjoy my cricket, I treat each and every match importantly, whether I play in the IPL, Champions League or Kanga League. I don’t treat any match differently and that makes me enjoy my game.
Who is your leg-spin icon?
Anil Kumble. I like the way he bowled, his flippers, top-spinners. I always watched his bowling action and his bowling inspired me a lot.
How is Rahul Dravid as skipper? How does he inspire the Rajasthan Royals?
I don’t have words to express Rahul Dravid’s contribution to the side. First of all, he is a great human being, a very honest person and a great motivator. He always motivates each and every player in the team and he is very helpful to everyone.
People are talking about Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement. As a 41-year-old what do you think? Is age just a number?
Yes, age is just a number and I never think about my age while playing cricket. As long as I find myself fit on the field, I will continue playing this game.
Do you draw inspiration from the 40-plus club of Leander Paes, Tendulkar and Dravid?
I don’t think like that. I don’t look at their age, only watch their games. I only think about my game and my love for cricket.
Pravin Vijay Tambe Born on October 8, 1971, in Mumbai
Bowls leg-spin and is a right-handed batsman
Plays for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL & CL
Made his IPL debut for Rajasthan Royals on May 7 this year against the Delhi Daredevils
His best figures, 4/15, came against Lions on Wednesday
Is employed with DY Patil Sports Club
Was a fast bowler before turning to leg-spin
Was a tennis-ball cricketer before turning professional
Was picked for Mumbai (T20) for the first time last season
Hasn’t played first-class cricket