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Playing his second season for the Mumbai Indians, Tirumalsetti Suman hopes to contribute with the bat and the ball as the team begins their IPL 2012 campaign. The stroke-maker from Hyderabad spoke to iplt20.com about his teammates and being part of Sachin Tendulkar’s side.
Excerpts from his brief chat:
On having a few of his Deccan Chargers teammates in the Mumbai Indians squad After the auction we realised that five of them are here at MI. I am really happy because we have spent really good moments together. We have won the second edition of IPL [for Deccan Chargers] together. We know our strengths and weakness so it will be nice to play together again.
On having his state mate Ambati Rayudu in the MI team
In fact, Rayudu, [Pragyan] Ojha and I belong to the same state [Hyderabad]. We played first-class cricket and we have also played junior level cricket from the Under-13 stage together. We share a great understanding and gel well. We know each other’s strengths and weakness. Even on the field we can just go and talk to each other about our game, so it is always an advantage.
On being part of the star-studded MI line-up
It feels great to be part of the Mumbai Indians team. I feel performing for the team and winning matches is what counts.
On MI’s drills and training sessions
There is nothing different as such, but the intensity with which we train as a team is what is different. We have got great support staff including Robin Singh, Jonty Rhodes and Shaun Pollock so we conduct [our sessions] with great intensity. Jonty doesn’t make us do very long fielding sessions but our short sessions are very intense, like our matches would be. Robin Sir is also working very hard on us, and [on] my batting, and it has been great.
On fielding practice with Jonty
He takes the wicketkeepers’ sessions separately. He does a lot of agility work and anticipation work that deals with the areas fielders should focus on. On working on his off-spin with Harbhajan Singh
Not just Harbhajan Singh – Maninder Singh Sir has also been part of the camp and is helping me a lot in my bowling department. It is always an advantage to bowl apart from batting. I can bowl and pick up one or two wickets and bowl tight overs in between, so I am focussed [on my all-round game] On Sachin Tendulkar’s hundredth international ton
It is a very great achievement and I feel it is a milestone that probably no other cricketer can achieve. I feel really great and honoured to be sharing the dressing room with a person like him.
Pragyan Ojha has been working hard on his bowling in the Mumbai Indians nets at the Wankhede Stadium under the guidance Robin Singh for the last few days. The left-arm spinner, who was part of the Deccan Chargers squad that won IPL 2009, hopes to recreate the magic that will help MI lift the IPL trophy in 2012.
The soft-spoken Hyderabadi spoke to iplt20.com about being part of the MI family.
Excerpts from his interview:
You have been part of a franchise (DC) that won the IPL trophy, and now you are part of MI who lifted the CLT20 trophy in 2011. How does that add to your and your team’s confidence going into IPL 2012?
It is a very good feeling when you are playing for a side, which has got a lot of history behind it. We won the [IPL] trophy for Deccan Chargers 2009 and recently Mumbai Indians won the Champions League T20 2011, so I am really excited. The names that the Mumbai Indians has got [in the team] really excite me, and I am looking forward to playing some good cricket with them.
You are sharing the dressing room with some of the best players on the international circuit. What would you be looking forward to learning from them?
Yes definitely, at this level and you are playing with such big names and [with] the amount of competition you are facing when you play consistently and share your dressing room with them, you learn a lot. If you are a street smart guy then you definitely learn a lot. And whenever I get a chance, I grab it [the opportunity to learn] with both hands.
We have seen you work tirelessly with Robin Singh in the nets since you joined the MI camp. What have you learnt from him?
I believe that Robin Singh is all about hard work. [...] Every time he comes on to the field, he gives his best. So what I have learnt from him is if you keep working hard and you give your best every time you are on the field, everything else will follow. I am a strong believer of hard work and I just forget everything [else] and I try and do what I am best at.
What have you been working on in the last few days?
I try and keep things very simple. I just stick to my line and length and I try and vary a bit with my pace. That’s what I keep working on, because every time you think you are getting better, you are not. That’s what I feel, so you [have to] keep working hard [and] at some point of time it shows and it pays off.
Quite a few of your teammates from your former franchise DC are now with MI. How does that work moving forward?
It feels great that most of the guys from Deccan Chargers [are here]. It will be fun again [with] us all gelling together. Hopefully we will be able to do the same that we did for Deccan Chargers in 2009 and God willing get the cup for Mumbai Indians.
The Mumbai Indians have a strong bowling line-up comprising you, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, RP Singh and others. What are your thoughts on that?
Altogether the team combination is superb. It’s just that we have to go [in matches] and execute our plans. I like to keep it very simple. We have got some big names [in the game in our team] so if we play to our potential and just stick to the basics, I think we will do very well. I am very confident about it.
How do you feel about getting the opportunity to share the dressing room with senior bowler Harbhajan Singh once again?
Definitely Bhajji paa has played about 12 years of international cricket and is senior guy, so it will be great to play alongside him. He is always sharing a lot of experience. It will be fun.
The last time you played at the Wankhede Stadium, you had put up an impressive performance against the West Indies. Does that give you more confidence going into the tournament?
Definitely! If you see the history of the Wankhede stadium, there is some kind of turn on the wicket and there is good bounce, so I am hopeful that it will really help spinners. There are not many wickets in India that give a true bounce and this wicket gives a good amount of bounce. So I am really happy that if you plan out things and hit the right areas, you can deceive batsmen with bounce.
What are your thoughts on Sachin Tendulkar’s hundredth international hundred?
Whenever Sachin paaji gets a hundred, it is always special for every Indian. It is always special to see him get runs, and everyone is praying for him. It is great and I wish he gets many more hundreds and he keeps winning for us.