Dias, 25, came up with an inspiring three for 52 against Gujarat on Day 2  © DNA
Dias, 25, came up with an inspiring three for 52 against Gujarat on Day 2 © DNA

Before Mumbai left-arm pacer Royston Dias, 25, came up with an inspiring three for 52 against Gujarat on Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy campaign at the Wankhede, his claim to fame was a deadly bouncer to Sachin Tendulkar that rattled the legend in the year 2013.

Five years back, 19-year-old Dias was called at the Ranji nets to bowl to Mumbai players at the Wankhede. And his first ball to the batting maestro was a bouncer which he ducked but the ball hit his shoulder.”Yes, it was the Ranji Trophy nets and it was obviously a great experience and very few get a chance to bowl at him (Tendulkar),” recollected Dias.

“I was a teenager then,” said the bowler. “He ducked the ball but it hit his shoulder. I was a bit scared. He was going to play a match next day. However, he was very supportive. He came and told me to bowl bindaas and not to take any tension,” he said.

So did he trouble Tendulkar? “Actually, Sachin paaji did not struggle. The pitch was also good. There were Ranji players, I was bowling to them and I was bowling pretty well. Sachin paaji was obviously playing well. He got that one ball and he didn’t expect I will bowl a bouncer.”

The match next day was a Ranji quarterfinal against Baroda. Cut to 2018, on Thursday, Dias bowled an impressive last spell of 4-0-6-2 that was full of bouncers, which saw Gujarat batsmen duck and leave a lot.

“We had a plan in the last session to bounce them out. It worked in our favour,” Dias said. Despite playing just four games since his debut two years ago, he is not new to the Mumbai set up. He has been around for quite some time. “It’s been four or five years since I have been around the Mumbai circuit. I have played U-19, U-23 and then the Ranji Trophy. But in a team like Mumbai, you have to wait for your chance. It’s very competitive. Whenever you get a chance, you try and do the best for the team.”

Is he disappointed on missing out on a four-wicket haul when Akash Parkar dropped Dhruv Raval? “Can’t call it frustrating actually. Honestly speaking, its difficult to sight the ball in the evening at Wankhede. However, you feel bad because you are putting a lot of effort. But it’s ok, can’t help it,” said the IT graduate.