We should reach semi-finals: Nadeem

DD spinner confident of team’s chances after big win against CSK

New Delhi 11 April 2012

Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem conceded only nine runs in his three overs as the Delhi Daredevils restricted the Chennai Super Kings to 110 at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium today. Crediting his skipper Virender Sehwag for boosting his confidence, 22-year-old spoke to about his valuable contribution and his team’s performance in the IPL so far.

Excerpts from his interview with

On DD winning their first home game of IPL 2012

It feels good because this season we have had a good start. We won the first game and lost the second game unfortunately. And then, to win this game against the defending champions [CSK] is a great boost.

On whether rain and winning the toss played a role

No such thing. The way our team has been performing this year and the kind of team combination we have, we will definitely we should be able to make it to the semi-finals this year.

On his bowling today

When I went in to bowl, I had full support of my skipper. Viru Bhai [Virender Sehwag] told me in the beginning itself, “Go and bowl without a worry; you are a good bowler and you will do well.” And he told me this before I had even bowled a ball. So this [skipper showing faith] in itself is a morale booster for any player. So for me too, it was a morale booster that the captain had so much faith in me. So I did what I had to do.

On what his strategy

The only thing that I had in mind, the only thing I was thinking was to bowl as many dot balls as possible. And that was what I was trying to do, and it worked out accordingly.

On DD’s fielding – which has been exceptional and was crucial in today’s win – and the role of fielding coach Trent Woodhill

We are emphasizing more on fielding this year. We are also doing a lot of practice for our fielding during our practice sessions. You can have bad [days] with batting or bowling but you cannot have a bad [day] with fielding. And we are emphasizing on that in matches and during workouts as well, and trying to ensure that all the players work hard on their fielding. You can see its outcome since the last two-three matches.

In this match too we fielded well, and it has been good in the last two games as well.

On bowling with fellow left-arm spinner Roelf van der Merwe

You have seen the how we bowled today in tandem with each other, but off the field too we work well with each other. We share a good understanding about our bowling and we discuss variations and various aspects on and off the field.

Today we told each other, we have to bowl maximum number of dot balls. Also CSK was under pressure because they had lost wickets [early on]. So we had thought to try and stop the batsmen from taking singles and bowl in the areas where they are finding it difficult to score; and if they still manage to hit after that then that is a different thing.

On the role of coach Eric Simmons

He was our bowling coach last year and this year he is our coach. He has a good rapport with the players and speaks to each player individually [and guides him]. He hasn’t advised me much about my bowling, but he has motivated me a lot. If a player is told, “you are good, you are going to do better” then there are more chances that you will perform well. As a coach, he motivates each player to excel in his skill area.

On Morne Morkel’s spell against CSK

He has been the backbone of our team’s bowling attack for the last three matches. He brings the team to a position from where it is easier for us to bowl.

On whether DD had a score they wanted to restrict CSK under after asking them to bat first

Seeing how the wicket is and from the experience of playing the practice matches, we had thought of restricting them to maximum 160. But we were able to bowl them out sooner.

On MS Dhon

I have been playing with him since I started playing cricket. [...] Ranji Trophy debut also I made under him. He is India’s captain, a very successful captain. I hadn’t thought about getting him out [or anything], I had only thought that I would give him a single and bowl to the non-striker [the batsman at the other end] because as everyone knows, he is one of the best players against spin in the world. 

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