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Citi Rising Star wants to build on this year’s performance
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Chennai 28 May 2012
A talent that shone through the brightest in IPL 2012 was Kings XI Punjabopener Mandeep Singh. The right-hander impressed both fans and critics with his masterful batting displays against some of the best in the business. With 432 runs this season, the 20-year-old was the highest run-getter for KXIP ahead of more seasoned campaigners like Shaun Marsh and David Hussey. Adjudged the Citi Rising Star of the IPL, Mandeep revealed his joy at receiving this honour amongst such august company. The IPL final served as the perfect opportunity for the youngster to witness firsthand the pressure and excitement of a big game. With aspirations of an IPL final appearance in the near future, Mandeep expressed his joy at Kolkata Knight Riders’ title win. You’ve been adjudged as the best young performer this season. What does that mean to you?
It feels very good. As a junior player, you wish to win this Citi Rising Star in the IPL. I really worked hard for this and it feels good. What sort of support did David Hussey and Adam Gilchrist give you?
Both really inspire, especially the youngsters. They gave me an opportunity to bat in the top order and I wanted to make use of this opportunity, which would be good for the team also. I am a little disappointed that I scored a lot of 20s and 30s, and next year I would want to convert them into 60s or 70s. Who do you look up to in terms of batting?
I have always watched Sachin Tendulkar. No one can be like him, but I have always tried to be somewhat like him. Do you think you can make it to the final some day?
If we play to our potential, we can really make it to the final. I am happy for KKR, because it is my ex-team. What’s the best part about the IPL for a youngster like you?
Best opportunity is to get international exposure. You get to play Morne Morkel or Dale Steyn who you don’t get to play at the domestic level. It gets very difficult if you play for India from the domestic level; and I have played them [international players] this season, which has done a lot to my confidence level.
CSK coach praises Knight Riders after their IPL title win
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Chennai 28 May 2012
Chasing a hat-trick of IPL titles, the Chennai Super Kings faltered at the final hurdle of their unprecedented journey. A champion team, no doubt, but the Super Kings have had their problems this season. Despite all their ups and downs, CSK remain a battle-ready side willing to fight till the very end. Their peerless fighting spirit might have been dented by KKR in the final, but CSK coach Stephen Fleming feels that Gautam Gambhir’s side are worthy successors of the IPL crown. The Kiwi tactician admitted to have been taken by surprise by Manvinder Bisla’s onslaught, and he doffed his hat to KKR’s undying spirit.
Excerpts from a chat with CSK coach Stephen Fleming after his team’s five-wicket loss against KKR in the final of IPL 2012:
You gave it your best today, but couldn’t quite get past the line?
No, [it’s] disappointing. We played pretty well. I thought the batting was excellent. The bowling, under pressure, we weren’t as good as we could have been, and the fielding – five or six runs here or there we could have saved, might have been the difference. But a great final. Kolkata were excellent throughout the year. We stopped and started. But we came into the final and played well. After posting 190, we are very disappointed. After posting 190, do you think the bowlers could have done better?
It’s a mixture of both. They played very well; [Manvinder] Bisla played well. We started very well with the ball, but his innings got a lot of momentum for their side and we weren’t able to pull it back. [Jacques] Kallis played the second fiddle very well and we were never able to shake them. But even with seven balls to go, we had a chance; there was a turning point there. That’s just the nature of T20 – we’ve been on the right side of it at times, [but] tonight we were on the wrong side. After getting Gautam Gambhir out, you would have felt you were halfway there.
Yes, it was a big wicket; the one we wanted. We thought he’d probably have to get a lot of runs for them to win, but Bisla stepped up and really played a magnificent innings. And that’s what finals are about – where heroes are born. He’ll be toasted in Kolkata tonight, I’m sure. You missed out on a title hat-trick. Do you think KKR are worthy winners?
Of course, fine winners. They’ve played well over here. They’ve played an excellent final. We said at half-time, if they get 190 and win it, then fair play to them. No complaints there, and certainly they’ve been a good side. Last couple of years, they’ve bought well, they’ve played well on their pitch – very similar to the style of cricket we play – and they were one team that we identified as going to be tough throughout the year at the start of the season. That’s come true, and hopefully, it starts a pretty good rivalry as we try and get it [the title] back next year.