Clarke adds great value to PWI: Nehra

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.
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