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IPL staff in New Delhi 18 April 2012 - 07:09pm IST

We won’t take DC lightly: Simons

Delhi Daredevils coach says Deccan Chargers can be a handful

The Delhi Daredevils are a force to reckon with in IPL 2012. Having won three of their four matches so far, the home team is sitting pretty in second position in the league table behind the Rajasthan Royals, who have played six games.

The Daredevils have one of the most balanced teams with batsmen like Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor, all-rounders like Irfan Pathan and bowlers like Morne Morkel and Shabaz Nadeem. Riding on their twin victories at home, the hosts will take on Deccan Chargers, who are the only team to not have opened their account in the fifth edition of the IPL. However, DD coach Eric Simons has warned against taking any side lightly.

Addressing the media ahead of the match, the Simons spoke about his team’s versatility and commitment.

Excerpts from the pre-match press conference:


On DD’s strategy against DC


Sometimes you get your tactics right and sometimes you get them wrong; and so far it is going pretty well. I don’t want to say too much about our plans for the opposition. A lot of work that we do is with concern to [working on] our game. [...] While we have given thought to what we want to do, a lot of our focus will be on our game, because we are happy with the way we are playing at the moment.

On DC as an opponent


[...] In some ways they are more dangerous in the situation than anyone else. We won’t be complacent in terms of respecting the opposition. I think they are a very good side and they have match-winners in their team [...] we expect a good game. Whenever you have a cricket team in a T20 competition that will be in a place where they feel they are the underdogs and that they have nothing to lose, then they are really dangerous. We are particularly aware of what our state of mind is and what our opposition will be. We have a lot of respect for them as a cricket team.

On Shahbaz Nadeem’s performance so far

In the first press conference at Kolkata I said, “Watch our spinners.” I am not surprised [with the way he has performed]. We have just worked on some good ideas for him in terms of tactics and the way he bowls. We have always known that he has the ability, and the way he has put [it all] together now his ability and grasped the ability to drift the ball and turn the ball, his control of the length is crucial. He has done all those things well, and he has the attitude and the implementation of those ideas [that we have discussed] in the match situation under pressure, and I believe he will go from strength to strength. I had no doubt that he was going to be special. There is still a long way to go in this tournament as well. We are playing a team with a lot of left-handers, so that will make a difference so we have to think about that, but I am very pleased for him. He has worked hard. I am a coach that looks at a guy’s eyes, and if you meet him, you can see he has fire in his eyes. He has got self belief, and he is a great person. [...]

On whether Naman Ojha will come at No 3 tomorrow against the DC bowling attack, which includes Dale Steyn


The one thing that our batting line-up does have is the ability to be versatile. We certainly don’t want to put ourselves in a position that the opposition can predict what is coming next. I am not going to say what we are doing, because then it is not going to be a surprise. But as the tournament unfolds, we want to make full use of what players we have got and what they bring to the table, because we have got versatility in there. [...] The last few games we have chased smaller totals, so we haven’t had reason to be innovative, but we will think about it [...].

On DD’s brilliant fielding performance


If I as a coach can get the team to stand in a circle before the game with an attitude and the desire to be there and the desire to play, then I can stop coaching. If you can have your team in that space every time they play, you are winning as a coach, because then technically things are right; the attitude is right. Some of the guys [the way they have performed] in the four games is tremendous. [...] that’s been one of the most rewarding things for me as coach to see the attitude of the guys going into matches and going into practice. We have an optional practice [today] and yet everyone is here. And that is good to see. What you see in the field is the manifestation of that attitude.

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