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Pune Warriors India pacer says team will benefit from Australian captain’s presence
By IPL Staff
Cuttack 30 April 2012
Michael Clarke has finally arrived at DLF IPL 2012. Clarke was out practicing for the Pune Warriors India at their net session ahead of their match against the Deccan Chargers on May 1. This is Clarke’s first taste of the IPL. Ashish Nehra, the leading pacer of the Pune franchise, believes that the Australian’s presence will add great value to the side.
Nehra addressed the press at the end of the practice session. Excerpts from his interaction:
On the game against Deccan Chargers after two consecutive losses:
Obviously, we will look to win. T20 is that kind of a format [where] two wins and two losses doesn’t make that big a difference because there are 16 games [to be played]. It’s not like we have only two or three games left. I mean, obviously, it makes a difference, but we have seven more games to go. We are not down and out or have won only two games. We are in contention. Apart from Delhi [Daredevils], the table is wide open. Everyone has eight or nine points. So, there is a long way to go. Hopefully, we will play well tomorrow and win.
On the playing XI for the game:
It would be better if you ask Sourav Ganguly that question [Laughs]. I have no idea. On Michael Clarke joining the team:
Obviously, someone like Michael Clarke, who has so much experience and is captaining Australia, adds much value to the team. He can bowl his left-arm spinners as well. Hopefully, the kind of player he is, he is going to deliver, and that will help Pune Warriors [India].
On the Cuttack wicket:
Last time when I played here, it was about a year and a half ago, before the World Cup against Sri Lanka. That time it was a good batting wicket. This time, I have no idea. Only once the game starts, will we be able to make it [the wicket] out. On Jesse Ryder not being present at the practice session:
He is not well. He has got a really bad case of flu and is back in Pune.
On whether the foreign players are performing better in the IPL:
I don’t think so. If you look, every team has only four foreign players [they can play]. All the Indian players, whether they are batsmen or bowlers, are performing. And this has been the case not from today, but for the last five years. Obviously, the foreign players who come, the franchises only look to play the best of them. All of them are very good international players. But even the Indian domestic players have performed well.
On expecting a tough fight from the Chargers:
Yes, T20 is that kind of format [where every match is tough]. I know Deccan have lost four or five games, but when we played against Deccan in Pune, we lost. So, you can’t say that Deccan is not playing well. Even when Deccan lost two or three games, they were very close, last-over finishes. In this format, all the teams are equal; every team is dangerous.
On his own form in the tournament:
I missed the first game. I had a stiff hamstring. Since then, I am very confident with my bowling. I am bowling well. This is that kind of format, where sometimes, even if you are bowling well, there are only four overs. And where I bowl, two overs in the powerplay and then [two overs] after the 17th over, stats will not show, but I am quite happy with my performance. When I want to bowl at 140 kmph, I am able to do that. When I want to bowl slow, according to the wicket, I am able to do that as well.
Delhi Daredevils coach talks about the road ahead for the table-toppers
By IPL Staff
Jaipur 30 April 2012
After beating the Rajasthan Royals at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium yesterday, table-toppers Delhi Daredevils will once again take them on at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here. Ahead of this match, DD coach Eric Simons addressed the media.
Excerpts from his press-conference:
On the availability of David Warner
Dave is not here. He had to go home for personal reasons. […] Even if he had flown in, I don’t think it would have been wise to select him tomorrow. Whether he would have been picked in the four international batsmen is debatable anyway. We expect him to be available for the next game on May 7. On yesterday’s match
As a team, we feel we didn’t necessarily win that game, and I am sure Rajasthan [Royals] feel they [actually] lost it. It wasn’t an easy wicket to score on. We would have wanted to score 20-25 runs more to put pressure on them. If Rajasthan Royals look back at the game, captain [Rahul] Dravid did say they should have finished the game early. That’s one area where we were able to exploit it. […] It was always going to be a situation, if we had a good over or four-five dot balls, [then] they were going to be under pressure. On the turning point of that match
Morne [Morkel] bowled an exceptional [penultimate] over and that’s what turned the match on its head. Umesh [Yadav] also bowled a very good over, baring that six, which was an incredible shot by Ajinkya. On DD’s winning streak
When you have won seven games, it’s tough to win consistently in T20 format. [...] Our batting has done well at times; our bowling has done well at times. Yesterday, we would have wanted to have scored 20 more runs. That’s just one run extra per over. We just need to ensure we have wickets in hand in the last five-six overs. On DD being the table-toppers and their chances of qualifying for the playoffs
We have a good chance. You are looking at eight-nine wins. We need one or two more wins to be considering that we are through. [...] Probably the most balanced side is Chennai [Super Kings]. They haven’t performed to [their] potential, but sometimes when you go through a tough process to qualify that makes the team tougher. They would be a tough opposition any game. Even Kolkata [Knight Riders] are playing better and better cricket. At the start, I had said that Mumbai [Indians] and Chennai [Super Kings] are the two toughest sides. On Virender Sehwag’s batting
Viru played an exceptional knock. He has done it under pressure in previous seasons too. One of the things that is amazing about him is that on wickets that everyone seems to be struggling, he is able to play strokes and dominate attacks they way he does. The way he plays allowed us to get a decent total, and he set up the game for us yesterday. On the fast bowlers and spinners in the team
This season, the seamers have done more than they have done in the past. Spinners will play a bigger role as the tournament goes on as the wickets start getting drier. Last year, lot more spin bowlers were leading wicket-takers. [...] The curators have tended to leave more grass on the wickets to be able to prepare the wicket for longer periods of time. On the arrival of Shane Watson in the Rajasthan Royals team
[The presence of] Watson will be a massive difference to Rajasthan as he is experienced and is almost like a dual player. It’s like getting two players – a batsman and a bowler – for the price of one. [Michael] Clarke might play as a pure batsman for Pune [Warriors India]. With international cricketers, like KP [Kevin Pietersen], Mahela [Jayawrdene], Ross [Taylor], Morne [Morkel], Roelof [van der Merwe], they contribute off the field as well.
For young Rajasthan players, they have someone like Watson in the side, who will make a big difference for what he brings to the side including, the experience he has [and] the information he brings in. The Australians have come off a good win in the West Indies and they will be in a good mental space. But they will have to adapt soon as [they] are coming in the middle of the tournament.
On the IPL
I find IPL an incredibly dynamic place to work. It’s exciting. As a coach, you are learning [with] every match. You need to be one step ahead of the opposition. This season is different from last season. It was a privilege to be involved with Team India as the bowling coach; it had different challenges. But I am enjoying what I am doing now. On the bowlers in the tournament
I told that bowlers would come back in the tournament. The bowlers are a lot calmer and have gotten used to [the fact] that they might go for eight runs an over. The curators have left a little more grass on the wickets as they need to have good contests and need to have wickets that last the tournament. Even with low scores, in T20 it’s still very exciting.
We talk about processes. If you bowl a perfect yorker and you get an inside edge past the fine leg for a four, you can only do your job. That’s often what happens in situations. The reaction is to the result. Sometimes we will play a good game and lose, and sometimes like last night, we probably didn’t deserve to win may be. We will not have to [get] carried away with the outcome and concentrate on the process.
On Shabaz Nadeem
When I met Shahbaz as a coach a couple of years ago, you could see it in his eyes; his confidence and his self belief. When you see that, you know you have something special. I am not surprised the way he has done so well. You can name 10-15 players who have developed over the last five years of the IPL because of the international players around them.
On Ajinkya Rahane
I worked with Ajinkya in the Indian side. I know how he bats and what his strengths and weaknesses are. It’s tremendous to see how he has grown as a player. He has got runs consistently. Working with Rahul Dravid definitely has been tremendous for him, and will help his development. We have plans for him, but sometimes you put the best plans [forward] and the batsmen counter it as they know what you are planning.