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MI all-rounder pleased with team’s efforts against RR
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Mumbai 12 April 2012
The Mumbai Indians have a plethora of star players at their disposal in IPL 2012. But one rather understated name always seems to make the cut. All-rounder James Franklin started his international career as a left-arm seamer, but has since gone on to add to his skill set by considerably improving his batting.
The southpaw is now a permanent part of the MI set-up. Despite a slow start this season, the 31-year-old is looking to help his team take that necessary step up in terms of quality.
The lanky Kiwi took out time to chat exclusively with iplt20.com after MI‘s 27-run win over the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium. MI are slowly getting things back on track after that loss against Pune Warriors India, aren’t they?
Yeah, it was important that we came out here on our home turf and rectify how we played here last time, which was a very disappointing effort. The way we played tonight was very satisfying. Lasith Malinga is your go-to bowler. What’s it like to have someone like that in your team?
It’s fantastic, I’m sure any team in the IPL would love to have him in their team. It’s great for Mumbai Indians that he is with us. He is great in all four overs that he bowls up front or [at the] death. He is a vital element in our side. Has Harbhajan Singh’s captaincy improved after 2011 CLT20?
It’s been a great experience for him after Sachin [Tendulkar] got injured and he led the side in CLT20 and won it. Tactically he is doing a great job. When Kieron Pollard fires, MI win. How important is he to the side?
He showed today what a world class T20 player he is. He is so destructive and breaks the game wide open. I m sure all the viewers today must have enjoyed watching him bat. MI has a lot of big game players. Do you see that as an advantage over other teams?
Big match players are a little bit of stereotypes; they still got to turn up and do the job. They might be big names but that won’t count if they don’t do their job. I am sure other teams would love to have such players, but we are fortunate enough to have them and [for them to be] doing their job at the moment.
You’ve been at the other end when Ambati Rayudu hit a last-ball six last season and when Rohit Sharma hit a last-ball six against DC this season. Is that a coincidence?
I am not too sure. Maybe I am putting them under little bit of pressure to hit that six of the last ball. It’s nice to be out there, and hopefully, contribute in some way and try finish it. I am lucky enough to be there in a couple of very tight games.
Riding on his team’s twin successes, Pune Warriors India’s Marlon Samuels is looking forward to taking on bowlers and clearing the ropes in the match against Kings XI Punjab on April 12. The hard-hitting Jamaican all-rounder revealed some lesser-known facts about him to iplt20.com.
Excerpts from Samuels’ conversation with iplt20.com:
1. Nickname: Iceman.
2. Idol: Sachin Tendulkar and that has never changed. The Master is the Master.
3. Life’s mantra: Brave may fall, but never yield.
4. Favourite cuisine: Jamaican food. Ackee and saltfish and dumpling, our national dish. But coming to India, I like I like curry because we love curry in the Caribbean. I eat a lot of curry in India.
5. Favourite beverage: Fruit punch or blended fruit punch.
6. I can’t do without: Talking to my little baby girl before I go to bed.
7. Favourite movie: The Matrix Revolutions.
8. Favourite band: I listen to reggae and dance on music. I don’t have a favourite band.
9. Style statement: The fans will have to see me in the night going out to see what I am dressing in.
10. Favourite TV series: Law & order.
11. Best pal in cricket: Chris Gayle.
12. Best bowler I’ve have face: Would definitely be Muthiah Muralitharan.
13. Worst bowler I’ve faced: It’s a tough game so I wouldn’t put down anybody as the worse.
14. Favourite shot: The extra-cover six. So tomorrow I will be looking for some [of that shot] because I liked the way the practice wicket played. I hope the wicket plays just like that in the middle, so you will definitely see me expressing myself.
15. The best bowler in the world right now: Dale Steyn.
16. The best batsman in the world right now: Until Sachin [Tendulkar] retires he is the best batsman in the world.
17. Favourite stadium in the world: Eden Gardens Kolkata.
18. Best innings: Hundred against India [2002 in the ODIs in India]. There were seven games and we were 3-3 going into the final [match], and that’s the best because it was a seven game series.
19. If I weren’t a cricketer I’d be a: Tough one. Maybe I would be sitting in an office doing 9 to 5 work; that would be so boring.
20. Bowler you don’t want to face right now: I am in good nick right now so I want to face every bowler. I want to face the best bowlers right now.