Big teams will be wary of us: Thomas

Veteran pacer believes Pune Warriors India can give any team a run for their money

By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Pune 27 April 2012
At 35, most fast bowlers would be contemplating retirement or at the very least cutting down on their workload. Pune Warriors India’s Alfonso Thomas is no ordinary bowler. With over 150 Twenty20 wickets, the veteran South African has become somewhat of an expert in the shortest format of the game. With the fire still burning bright within Thomas, PWI have a champion cricketer who knows how to handle difficult situations, and who always gets the job done for his skipper.

With three wickets from three matches, Thomas is slowly finding his feet in the IPL. Although his exploits against DC couldn’t quite manage to pull off a win for the home side, he warns the rest of the pack to be wary of the wounded Warriors.

Thomas took out time to have a brief chat with after PWI’s disappointing home loss against DC.


Is the loss against DC a bitter blow?

[It was a] very tough day. I thought they probably got about 15 runs too many. I and Ashish [Nehra] thought 160 was probably par. But that score was definitely chaseable with the bowling attack they have; they have a lot of inexperienced bowlers. We always knew we had to get to a good start, which we didn’t. Couple of our top-order batsmen had a start but nobody kicked on, and that went against us. If anyone from the top four gets a 70-plus, that gives us a high chance of winning the game.

What are the essentials to be a good Twenty20 fast bowler?

You got to be mentally strong and you got to back your plan. When you are standing at the top of your mark, you got to have a clear mind on what you want to do and back your execution. You got to do your work at the practice ground, and the rest will take care of itself.

They say Twenty20 is a young man’s game and you are 35. What are you doing right to stay on top of your game?

I think it comes with a bit of experience as well. I have played all around the world and have picked a lot of experience. Sourav Ganguly is 39 and he is still going. He sees the fire in the belly, and till the time it’s there for me, I will keep on playing.

What do you think Nehra and Ashok Dinda need to do to take that step up in quality?

They don’t have to do much. As a bowler, you got to try and apply pressure and that’s how you get wickets. I don’t think as a collective unit we need to lose some sleep. We all are quality bowlers and we have our plans; we just need to keep it simple. Things start going wrong the moment you complicate T20 cricket.

How do you adapt to the ever-changing batting trends?

You probably don’t have to adapt to it. I would like to see what the batter is going to do if I start running with my right hand and bowl from my left hand. Like I said, the basics still apply. A good yorker will remain a good yorker whether you are batting left-handed or right-handed. You just got to back your skills and keep it simple. People don’t come out to watch us to take five-fors, they come to watch us to go for 15 runs in an over.

PWI has lost two back-to-back home games. Where do you go from here? Is it a setback or is it already forgotten?

It’s already forgotten. It’s a hiccup and we have seven games left, we just need to back ourselves and perform like how we have done in the past. If we get going, I can assure you that lot of the top-ranked teams will lose their sleep over us.
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