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Part of the Rajasthan Royals’ side that lifted the IPL trophy in the first edition, paceman Siddharth Trivedi feels his team is capable of doing it again. Although he believes it is too early to make predictions, the 29-year-old is confident his team will spring a few surprises as the tournament progresses.
While his mate Pankaj Singh set the tone of the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore with the wicket of Chris Gayle, Trivedi took a four-for to break the backbone of the heavyweight side. Excerpts from Trivedi’s exclusive interview with iplt20.com on the eve of the game against Deccan Chargers:
RR’s pacemen’s performance against the mighty RCB batting line-up was commendable.
We kept it simple and stuck to the basics. We had got a good idea about how the wicket was behaving while our team was batting. We have a certain plan and we have certain strengths so we worked on it and got success. What areas have you been working on as a fast bowler?
I am more of a variation bowler. I mix my pace depending on the wicket and the batsman – that’s what I work on during practice sessions too. I have been implementing [my plans] well [and using] slower balls. My length, too, has been much better this year. I am consistently bowling a good line and length so that’s why I think I have been performing well.
What’s it like to play in the IPL?
Playing with legends like Rahul Dravid, Brad Hogg, Owais Shah [and others helps]. They keep motivating [the juniors] and help us on a few minor points. I have grown as a cricketer and I’m enjoying playing the IPL. I hope to carry on the performance in the next games too.
Is your domestic cricket experience a plus when it comes to playing in the IPL?
Of course, there is that positive. But at the same time you cannot forget that this is [akin to] the biggest international tournament. We know the wickets are flat but the batsmen you will be bowling too are really tough [to bowl to], so you have to adjust to that. You have to adapt to the situation as early as possible and that is what I am trying to do.
Is it tough to adapt to the T20 format where you get to bowl a maximum of four overs?
It is very difficult because one over changes the game; even one ball can change the game so you have to be on your toes and be alert all through the 120 balls. But this is what I like about the T20 [format] – the challenge you face and whether you are up for it. You try and give it your best [...]. I have played a lot of T20, this is my fifth year, so I have a bit of IPL experience too and that helps the way I am practicing. I practice according to the role that the management and team have given to me. I work on my variations during practice and try and get better. What are the variations that you have been working on?
I have been working on my slower balls and my length balls and working on a length which batsmen will find difficult to face.
What is your favourite delivery?
The slower ball. Having been part of an IPL-winning RR side, do you feel they can surprise the world again?
Yes! The ‘underdogs’ tag was always attached to Rajasthan [Royals] [in the opening season]. We liked being called underdogs. Even this year we have surprised many teams. It is too early to tell but we have been topping the table, which shows that we have the kind of players that are very destructive. We are going to surprise a few of the teams in this tournament.
As a bowler, how do you keep coming back and keep yourself motivated after being hit?
You have to be strong because T20 is [the type of] game where you are going to be hit for four and six in the first two balls. You have to back yourself and think, ‘OK. Whatever has happened, I have to come back strong.’ Rahul Dravid and my teammates back me when I get hit for runs. They say to me, ‘No problem; you are going to bowl your best ball next.’ The backing of your teammates helps a lot.
A word on your fellow pacemen, Amit Singh and Pankaj Singh.
Amit Singh too has been part of Rajasthan Royals for two or three years; he is also a very good bowler. He has been performing consistently in domestic cricket too where we are part of the same team, so we have a good understanding. Pankaj Singh has also been doing well on the domestic circuit and has been the highest wicket-taker as well. The way he took Chris Gayle’s wicket in Bangalore set the tone [for the win]. The three of us bowled well and will continue in the next games too.
MI batsman says his team needs to rectify mistakes
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Mumbai 17 April 2012
It’s been an indifferent start to the Mumbai Indians’ IPL 2012 campaign so far. A brilliant away win against the Chennai Super Kings was followed by a disappointing home loss against the Pune Warriors India. After after their rather flat performance against the Delhi Daredevils, the 2011 CLT20 champions are looking to get their house back in order.
Rohit Sharma is the Mumbai Indians’ batting mainstay, with his silken touch and lazy elegance garnering praise from all quarters. Sharma failed to capitalise on a good start against the Daredevils at a time when his team required him to stay at the crease till the end. The 24-year-old right-hander was visibly disappointed after his side’s listless performance, while revealing exclusively to iplt20.com his desire to take on more responsibility. Excerpts:
What went wrong today?
It was quite a disappointing performance from us, specially the batters. It was a good wicket to bat, but we didn’t apply ourselves. Somewhere around 140 or 150 would have been a good score. The wicket had some bounce in it. Hopefully, we should rectify our mistakes in the next game we play and it should be a different story.
Was it a case of poor batting or brilliant bowling?
A bit of poor batting and their bowlers were on target today. It was poor application by us today. There is plenty of time now, so nothing to worry about.
Are you happy with how things have gone for you so far?
I am pretty happy. I am hitting the ball well. [I] just need to take more responsibility and take the team through and look to play 20 overs. It’s not possible every time because at times you need to hit shots and in process you might get out. So you should play by taking everything into consideration. Lasith Malinga wasn’t playing today. How dependent is MI on Malinga?
He is our key bowler and there is no doubt about it. He had some back problem, and hopefully, [he] should be fit for the next game. Opening partnership has been an issue. Would you like to step up and open the innings?
It really depends on the team management. The role given to me by the management and the captain is to sort the middle overs out. If the management wants me to open I will. But again, Sachin [Tendulkar] will be fit for the next game, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
How will today’s disappointment help MI improve for the forthcoming games?
We need to understand what went wrong for us. You need to assess the wicket and chose your shots accordingly because the wicket keeps changing here. This was a fast-paced wicket, and so we need to read the wicket. And if we do so, the results will be in our favour. How do you intend to be more responsible and carry the middle order through?
It’s not an easy job. The middle overs situation is never easy, sometimes you need to check on the number of overs left and sometimes you need to catch up on the run-rate. There are a lot of things to think about when you are batting in the middle order.