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Spinner still backs Mumbai Indians’ pacers to make up for Malinga’s absence
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Mumbai 22 April 2012
Part of the Purple Cap trio that the Mumbai Indians boast, Pragyan Ojha has proven his bowling ability at the highest level in the past. The IPL 2010 Purple Cap winner is now part of MI’s all-star squad, and is looking to match his former achievements. But this season, his form has been blighted by inconsistency; much like MI’s displays so far. The CLT20 2011 champions made a bright start to their IPL 2012 campaign, but soon stumbled and haven’t quite got back on their feet yet.
Despite Ojha’s two-wicket haul against Kings XI Punjab, the Mumbai franchise couldn’t stop the away side from taking home the two points. But the 25-year-old left-armer is confident that his side has enough experience to bounce back from their latest loss. The talented MI spinner spoke exclusively to iplt20.com after MI’s defeat to KXIP at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
Excerpts: Your team appears to be in indifferent form. What’s going wrong for MI?
Last time, when we played DD [Delhi Daredevils], we couldn’t get enough runs on the board. Today, we should have bowled better and restricted them to a smaller score. We have a better side than how we performed. You were favourites going into this match. Is it a disadvantage to be labeled as favourites?
I don’t think so. We are an experienced side, and not a young side, who will get under pressure if people expect a lot off you. When you get on the field, all you think of is doing well for the team, and not think too much about what others are planning for you.
How badly did MI miss Lasith Malinga?
He is our strike bowler and he has won games for MI. He is a wicket-taker and every team would want to have a bowler like him. Hopefully, he gets well soon and joins the side for the upcoming matches. Do you feel MI lack a replacement for Lasith Malinga?
Not really. We have got RP Singh, Munaf Patel and other big-name bowlers. They have played enough international cricket to have confidence to bowl in these games. We are missing Malinga, but that doesn’t mean that RP and Munaf can’t do the job for us. They are also good bowlers with a lot of experience behind them. What’s your take on the Wankhede pitches?
The wicket is playing very well. They are true T20 pitches as we are getting runs, and there is something for the bowlers. We have to apply ourselves and do well for the rest of the tournament.
Kings XI Punjab spinner hopes to improve with every passing game
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Mumbai 22 April 2012
Kings XI Punjab spinner Piyush Chawla has achieved quite a lot for his young age. Part of the Indian squad that won the 2011 World Cup, Chawla now finds himself hoping to catch the eye of the national selectors with his impressive IPL performances.
The talented leggie has been amongst wickets this season, but the highlight of his performances so far has been his ability to curtail runs. With spinners not known for their ability to limit scoring, Chawla is proud to be one of the few turners who have managed to keep a lid on the opposition’s run-rate. After another austere bowling display against the Mumbai Indians, Chawla aims to continue his good form without worrying too much about the final result. The 23-year-old took out time to chat exclusively with iplt20.com after KXIP’s morale-boosting win over MI. Excerpts:
How’s your IPL 2012 experience been so far?
It’s going really well so far. We’ve lost some close games unfortunately, but today we played really well. Playing against one of the better teams in the competition— the Mumbai Indians— and beating them, it’s something that has boosted our confidence.
How is your bowling coming along?
I am finding my form. If you see the stats, I’ve always been amongst the wickets and my economy-rate has also been low. Being a leg spinner, playing most of the games in Mohali, which is a seamer-friendly wicket, if your economy is below six runs per over, then I am quite happy with that.
Is the Purple Cap one of your goals?
I can just try to bowl in good areas, and that’s what I am doing. At the end of the day, the thing that matters to me the most is the team winning. If the team wins, thanks to my contribution, then [it’s] even better.
Is skipper Adam Gilchrist helping out from the sidelines?
Adam Gilchrist has almost 16 to 17 years of international experience, so that helps you a lot as a team. When he chats with everyone on a one-on-one basis, it’s very good. How different is it to play under David Hussey?
Everyone knows he is a very good player, he is serving Australia at his best and he is playing really well for us too. He is very enthusiastic about everything; even at this age he runs around. And the kind of effort he puts in, he is a role model for the youngsters.
Does the underdogs tag affect you in any way?
In T20s, just two good overs and the game is over; and that’s what we saw today. Our openers started really well — that was one of the best starts we’ve had in the tournament. After that, [it was all about] the way Shaun Marsh finished— he is our special player. How are you dealing with the competition from fellow Indian spinners playing in the IPL?
I don’t want to compete with anyone; just with myself, and better my performance in every game. I think it’s turning out really well. Conceding just 20 runs in the match against RCB, who have a players like Chris Gayle, has also given me a lot of confidence. How important is Shaun Marsh to KXIP?
Shaun Marsh is the kind of batsmen, that if he stays for 20 overs, he will finish the game off for the team. And that’s exactly what he did today.