Steyn’s a world-class bowler: Levi

MI opener also praises Rohit Sharma’s match-winning knock

By Akshay Manwani
Vizag 10 April 2012
Mumbai Indians pulled off a thrilling run chase against the Deccan Chargers in what was easily the best game of DLF IPL 2012 so far. Needing 139 to win, Rohit Sharma anchored MI’s innings brilliantly scoring 73* off 50 balls. He even hit Daniel Christian for a last-ball six to give Mumbai a memorable win in the last game played at Vizag in this tournament.

MI’s Richard Levi, who was on the receiving end of some hostile bowling by Dale Steyn, and was eventually bowled by the Deccan Chargers paceman, described the joy experienced by his entire team in the aftermath of the stunning run chase. Levi spoke to exclusively following the match:

What’s the spirit like in the dressing room right now?

It’s unbelievable. It’s always great to come from behind and win. Rohit played unbelievably. We always talk about taking responsibility, making it count and he did exactly that.

Did Rohit say something about what was going on in his mind before he played that last ball?

No, he hasn’t said anything. He has been covered with cheers, hugs and lots of happiness, so he hasn’t said too much. There is a lot of cheering right now in the changing room.

Was it a deliberate ploy to go slow in the initial overs and then allow Kieron Pollard and James Franklin to finish things off?

We noticed it in the last game and it played out the same way. The newer ball is always harder to hit. Dale [Steyn] is a world-class bowler; he is not the No. 1 bowler in the world for no reason. So, we had to get through him and his three overs up front. We had wickets in hand – six wickets left in the last three overs – so the guys could have a full go and take their chances. It got too tight for comfort, but we were lucky enough to get out on the right side today.

You spoke about Dale’s bowling. Tell us about that over he bowled to you?

[Laughs] There was a bit of banter before the game. He said I am going to try and swing it away from you, [but] none of the balls swung. As I said, he is a world-class bowler. He hit his lengths very well. Especially on this wicket, it is not easy to hit through the line because of the spongy bounce. I got a good ball on the day. It happens. It shows you, even if one bowler bowls four overs for 12, it just takes one big over to win the game and that’s exactly what we did.

You play your next game on the 11th, which is also your fourth game in eight days. At the same time, you also have the comfort of playing your next three games at home. Does that give the boys an opportunity to relax?

It’s obviously been quite hectic, going up and down and playing our fourth game in eight days. But the guys are being taken care of by the support staff. Hopefully, we will do well.

We saw Sachin rush out to the field after Rohit hit the last ball for six. Is he likely to play the next game?

He is just being cautious. There is no point in rushing him. Might as well get him 100 percent fit for the rest of the tournament. I’m pretty confident, looking at the way he is using his hands, he will be around for the next game.
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