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Chennai Super Kings opener says his team played well to qualify for playoffs
By Akshay Manwani
Bengaluru 22 May 2012
The Chennai Super Kingsqualified for the DLF IPL 2012 playoffs after the Royal Challnegers Bangalore failed to win their last league match against the Deccan Chargers. Since both CSK and RCB were tied at 17 points at the end of the league stage, the former edged the latter for the final playoff spot due to their better net run-rate. CSK opening batsman, Murali Vijay, however, insisted that the team had picked up points early in the tournament and there was no question of the side making it to the top four purely on luck.
Vijay spoke to iplt20.com in an exclusive chat shortly before his team was to leave for it’s practice session at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
How is the mood in the camp given that you just about managed to scrape through for a place in the playoffs?
We took our points early. We didn’t win against Kings XI [Punjab] in Dharamsala and so we were a little low in confidence, because that was a very important match for everybody. But we were there. We had 17 points. It’s not that we were lucky. We were just hoping that things would turn up our way, and it did. We are a good side and everyone knows that. Now we are in an awkward state; it’s a matter of one game at a time. Anything can happen and we’re just hoping for a good performance.
Is there any extra pressure because you have to win every game from here to win the title?
We have been this situation several times. We are a very strong unit because anybody can win matches for us. That is the ability we have in our setup. We’re looking forward to the challenge. You lost both your league games to the Mumbai Indians this season. How do you reckon things will play out this time?
Maybe that will motivate us a little more. They are a very good side, there is no doubt it. But we are only thinking of doing things to the best of our ability. It will be a good contest, to be frank, and I’m just hoping for a win.
Do you think that in a high-pressure match like this it is probably a good idea to bat first?
It doesn’t matter really. If you play on your home ground, perhaps it matters a little bit. But in a knockout game, whether you are chasing or setting a target, you just have to win the match. I think that’s our attitude.
Can you tell us which two Mumbai Indians players could make the biggest difference between the two teams?
Obviously, Sachin [Tendulkar]. Everybody knows him and what he can do. [Kieron] Pollard is also another important guy in their setup because he can bowl a bit and he can really whack the white ball. But we have our things sorted. We are looking forward to the challenge
What about Dwayne Smith?
Everybody is a good player, to be honest. Ambati Rayudu has been brilliant for them. Rohit Sharma is batting brilliantly. A lot of their players are in form. They have a good bowling setup as well. It’s going to be a good contest, that’s for sure.
You came good in last year’s IPL final with a match-winning knock. Can we expect the same from you in this do-or-die game as well?
Sure. It’s a challenge for me personally. I am hitting the ball well at the moment. I’m just looking forward to a match-winning performance where I can contribute and it can help the team in a winning cause. I’m just really happy and excited that we are in the knockouts. It’s just one game at a time now. You have also qualified for Champions League Twenty20 after making it to the playoffs. Your thoughts on that.
It is a great tournament. To make yourself available for CLT20 is something great because you can play with the teams coming from abroad who are unknown commodities. It’s a good challenge for us fringe players to participate in that tournament.
RCB skipper talks about his experiences, spin bowling and more
By Prajakta Pawar
New Delhi 21 May 2012
Daniel Vettori, the most respected left-arm spinner in the current era, looks back at his career, the role of spinners in all forms of the game, the role of senior players and what he gets to learn from the IPL.
As a senior player himself, TheRoyal Challengers Bangalore skipper has taken on the role of a statesman, guiding youngsters, sharing his knowledge and contributing to every team he plays for. After guiding New Zealand through tough times, Vettori is now helping shape RCB as well. Always a student of the game, Vettori shares how the RCB dugout gains from the presence of Anil Kumble and Muthiah Muralitharan as well. Excerpts from his interview with iplt20.com:
On turning into an effective all-rounder from just a bowler
When I was in school, I batted reasonably up the order. When I came to first-class cricket and international cricket, I was well down the order and probably didn’t take batting as seriously as I would have liked. Then, I got to a stage where my record wasn’t very good and I was little bit embarrassed. So thought of a turnaround and worked really hard on changing my technique a little bit and things came from there.
On whether spinners form a group among themselves
I think so because generally you are the only person in the team who is a spinner. So when you play the opposition, you normally have an affinity with the other spinner there. [In the IPL] these are big squads and there are two or three spinners; there is [KP] Appanna, Syed Mohammed and Abrar Kazi in the RCB team… so, four of us. We get along pretty well and talk about bowling. We like to talk about the ways we can improve and get better.
On how Anil Kumble, Muralitharan and himself influence youngsters in RCB
The respect that Anil and Murali have from the group, because of being such successful and such great ambassadors of the game, that whenever they speak about cricket, you listen. And that’s the best thing. Sometimes the message doesn’t always get across if it doesn’t come from the right source. But when Anil and Murali talk, it makes everyone listen; and generally, it’s spot on. On the impact of spinners on the Twenty20 format
I think that the spin bowlers always had the ability to adapt no matter what format of the game it is. But particularly in Twenty20 cricket, you know that the batsman is going to be aggressive and try and hit a six on a lot of the balls. So, I think bowlers have learnt to read batsmen and [now] have the ability to stop their progression. I think spinners, more than anyone, have been able to do that quickly.
On innovations in Twenty20
I think they are just the same as one-dayers and Test matches […] where people are just looking to change their pace as much as they can. For bowlers like Murali and Amit Mishra, it helps a lot. I think for the left-arm spinners, mixing up the pace as much as you can and trying to keep the batsmen guessing works. On new deliveries that have been developed to restrict batsman
The bowlers work to their strengths. So, someone like Murali has the ability to spin it both ways. For me, it is trying to keep people guessing. The same is with [KP] Appanna. It is for each individual bowler to work it out.
On evolving from a young spinner a senior statesman
As the more experienced you get, you develop into the role [of senior statesman]. The more you play, the more you have the responsibility to help the young guys in the team. The best way you try and do is [to] try and set an example for everyone to follow. And you see that all around the world, with the senior players, most people aspire to be like them.
On spinners who are likely to make a mark
[There are] not as many as there have been in previous years. But I really believe that Syed Mohammad and Appanna here have something that is pretty special and they [could] go on to play for India. There are likes of England’s Monty Panesar, who has done really well for them. But it has been the time of the off-spinner I suppose with the likes of Murali, Harbhajan [Singh], Syed Ajmal and Graeme Swann who have dominated world cricket of late. So hopefully, there is a chance for somebody to come up through the ranks.
On what about the IPL has impressed him the most
I think, just learning how other people do things. When you come to New Zealand, you have a certain way of doing it, but you come here and see how the Indians play the game, the Australians and the South Africans and the Sri Lankans. That’s the thing that I have enjoyed the most. Sometimes, you get sort of stuck or set in your ways, but you come here and you learn a lot.