Rookie left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya had a dream start to his Indian Premier League career during his side Rajasthan Royals’ tournament opener against Punjab Kings.
On a road masquerading as Wankhede’s pitch, Chetan Sakariya proved to be the pick of the bowler for Rajasthan Royals as he ended up with figures of 3/31 in four overs, which included the prized-scalp of KL Rahul in the final over of the innings.
Chetan Sakariya, in an interview with CricTracker, has revealed that he was inspired by former Pakistan pacer Junaid Khan’s exploits against India during the 2012 ODI in Chennai.
In an inspired spell of bowling, Khan ran through the famed Indian batting unit which included the likes of Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli. He finished with figures of 4/43 to set up an eventual Pakistan win.
Watching the mayhem unfold as a kid, Chetan Sakariya got inspired by Junaid Khan and he even tried to copy his action.
While he couldn’t copy his action, he integrated the small jump that Junaid used to take before approaching the crease, in his run-up.
“As a kid, you start idolizing anyone who plays well and is famous. In 2010  when Pakistan came to India, Junaid Khan bowled really well, even though we had players like Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, and MS Dhoni. But Junaid dismissed them all. So I became his fan and tried to copy his run-up,” Chetan Sakariya said.
“If you noticed, he used to take a small jump before approaching the crease. I wanted to bowl just like him, but couldn’t copy his entire action. In the attempt to copy his action, my own action got formed. However, I did copy the jump!” he further revealed.
Junaid Khan proved to be a revelation for Pakistan during that 2012/13 ODI series against India. The left-arm quick claimed as many as eight wickets- the joint-most alongside Saeed Ajmal- to help Pakistan seal a 2-1 series win.