Over the last four seasons, the Delhi Daredevils have frustrated one and all. Despite being one of the most talented teams, they have not exploited their potential. This time, their firepower has increased; and if their performance in their opening game against the Kolkata Knight Riders is anything to go by, it looks like their determination has shot up as well.
DD pace spearhead, Morne Morkel, who rattled the mighty KKR batting line-up at the Eden Gardens, spoke about the team’s confident state of mind, and he even spoke fondly of his fast bowling mates.
Excerpts from his media interaction:
On the win against KKR
It will be great for us if we could lift the trophy this year, which is our goal. We had a good start last night. It was a pressure game for us – 12 overs a side. Luckily, we came out on the winning side, and that’s a positive sign for us going into the tournament.
To win without the big names was a massive confidence booster. We know the guys who’ll be coming in are class players. But for guys like Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell to get the opportunity was great to see. It was pleasing for the team to see them perform. That gives us the confidence that even when the big stars arrive, if we have an injury concern, we know we have guys who can stand up and perform. It just shows how fortunate we are to have a strong squad like this.
On the team’s improved fielding
Fielding is a very important aspect of the game. bowlers need that backup. Lat night we put up an exceptional effort in the field and a lot of credit must go to the coaches and other staff for putting the guys to the paces. I’m glad we put up that performance last night, which gave the guys a boost moving forward into the tournament. We set a benchmark in fielding last night, and hopefully, we can maintain that level right through the tournament.
On Virender Sehwag’s lack of form
We all know the saying, ‘form is temporary, class is permanent.’ I’ve played against Viru [Sehwag] a couple of times and I know he’s a class player. I’m sure he’s hungry for runs and I hope he does well for the Delhi Daredevils and then for India after the IPL.
On DD’s pace bowling attack
With the kind of bowling unit we’ve got, if we bowl well as a team, we can achieve great things for the team. It all depends on the opposition. You have game plans for certain guys and wicket is not going to support you all the time. So you need to come up with plan B or plan C. If Varun Aron is fit, he will definitely add depth to our bowling attack. If we bowl together as a team, we will achieve success.
Both these guys bowl quick and they are the future of India. If they stay fit and injury-free and play consistently, they will help the team grow.
On the team not peaking at the right time till now
The most important thing for me is not to focus on the result. That just builds some pressure on you. Most important thing for us is to get our basics right and we will get the wins. We have not really won any trophy so far, but I think this year is really ours. Just take one game at a time and get our basics right and we will get the result.
On the RCB’s batting
They have a lot of world-class players with a lot of experience, and those guys don’t really have any weakness. You just need to be strong in your mind and up for the challenge and enjoy your game. You get better by playing more matches against better sides. I just want to work on my game and give my best to the team.
On the Chris Gayle factor
Virat [Kohli] has been playing so well and AB [de Villiers] and [Tillakaratne] Dilshan are also in good form; but Chris Gayle is the rock in top. It will be nice to get him [out] early, but we have got respect for all their players and they deserve all of it. They are a quality side and its going to be a tough match tomorrow. And like I said we are looking forward to it. We are just going to enjoy our game and try to get our basics right. Rest we can’t control.
On the strong contingent of South African players in the IPL
For us, it’s great to come and play in this part of the world. It helps us improve our game, playing in completely different conditions than what we’re used to. It’s fantastic to be a part of this tournament and learn so many things.
On Richard Levi
He hits a long hard ball. People don’t know too much about him at the moment. He’s very mature for his age. I see a bright future for him. To play with the Mumbai Indians and batting with Sachin will only benefit him. That’s such a great thing about this tournament; for us to come here, spend time with the legends of the game and learn about the game. Levi will definitely be a big one for us [South Africa] in ODIs.