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When the Delhi Daredevils took the field for Qualifier 2, against the Chennai Super Kings, the question on everyone’s mind was ‘Where is Morne Morkel?’ The current Purple Cap holder was conspicuous by his absence right through the first innings, when the CSK batsmen hammered DD’s inexperienced bowling attack mercilessly to pile up 222 runs. While there were rumours of Morkel being unwell, some said he was dropped from the playing XI.
In a post-match interview with iplt20.com, we got the answer from the source itself. Morkel clarified the reason for him not playing the most crucial match of the tournament and he also spoke about the wonderful IPL season he’s had with the ball. The South African fast bowler said it was time for DD to move on and focus their energies on the 2012 CLT20. Why didn’t you play this game?
It was just to balance the side. Irfan picked up an injury and he was out for today’s play, so we needed somebody explosive with the bat at the back end so we went with Andre Russell. Don’t you reckon your absence led to the bowling attack being very inexperienced?
Taking the pace off the ball was the key here, so they went with spinners. Umesh [Yadav] and Varun [Aaron] bowled well. But unfortunately, we didn’t win. You also lost out on a chance to strengthen your hold on that Purple Cap?
It was unfortunate for me. I prepared well and I was looking forward to this game, but unfortunately, things didn’t go our way and I missed out. Life goes this way, and hopefully, we can prove things around next year.
This was your best IPL so far. Did you make any technical changes in your bowling this time?
I really worked hard on my game in the past couple of months and I have come a long way. I think some conditions were better this year than last year, and I was trying to bowl as fast as I can. The planning and the work I put in before games really paid off for me. The work that the team has put in to get here was unbelievable, but unfortunately, we couldn’t get through this hurdle. Did the pace-friendly wickets in Delhi help you to a certain extent?
The wicket this year was good for batting and bowling. We have set targets for 200 there and guys have gotten close. The ground staff at the Feroz Shah Kotla was spot on, and it’s just good things to come forward for the seasons. Will you be cheering for CSK in the finals because of your brother Albie?
Yes. One reason for supporting CSK will be Albie. Also, we lost to KKR in Pune, so I am supporting CSK all the way, and I am hoping they lift the trophy. The team might be out of this IPL but it’s after a long time that the Daredevils will play in the CLT20. That must be exciting?
Like I said, there are things to look forward to and that is to come back and play in the CLT20. Guys will be working hard for that and try to compete well.
75.00 Chennai Super Kings’ win-percentage in IPL knockout/playoff games – six wins in eight games.
73 Runs scored by the Chennai Super Kings in their last five overs. They scored 126 in their last 10 overs!
16 Number of innings after which MS Dhoni scored a fifty in the IPL. He had last scored a half-century against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at Bengaluru on May 22, 2011.
20 Number of balls taken by Dhoni to reach his fifty – fastest by a Chennai Super Kings batsman in the IPL. The previous fastest had come off 22 balls by Matthew Hayden on two occasions – vs the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2009.
9 Number of times Harbhajan Singh did not bowl his full quota of overs in a match in IPL 2012.
2 Number of wicketkeepers to score a fifty and effect three dismissals in an IPL match. Dhoni joined Adam Gilchrist, who had done so against the Chennai Super Kings on May 17.
1 Number of balls on which Dhoni could not score a run. His innings scoring sequence was: 4, 1, 1, 0, 6, 4, 4, 4, 1, 4, 1, 2, 4, 2, 1, 6, 1, 2, 1 and 2.
1 Mumbai Indians lost an IPL match for the first time at Bengaluru.