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In IPL 2013, the Purple Cap is changing heads more frequently than Chris Gayle is despatching the ball into the crowd. There is a difference of mere four wickets between the man at the top and the 10th position on the highest wicket-takers list.
In the gap of a day, the Purple Cap has left the Sunrisers Hyderabad’shat-trick hero, Amit Mishra and has moved to Bangalore to adorn the head of Royal Challengers’ Vinay Kumar. In what came as a double bonanza for the Karnataka medium pacer, his ascend to the top of the chart came by way of a match-winning 4-0-18-3 spell, against Rajasthan Royals.
In a chat with iplt20.com after receiving his Man of the Match trophy, Vinay spoke of the excitement that this contest of winning the Purple Cap has brought in among bowlers. He also dwelled into his journey so far in the IPL and how it has contributed to his growth as a bowler.
The purple cap is changing heads so often. Is it fun to have such stiff competition for it?
It is fun. Knowing that you are never too far from the Purple Cap motivates you to try harder to get there. It is changing heads right now but at the end of the tournament, I would like to have it.
RP Singh said today that he was jealous that you have it. He’s just three wickets away from you?
It is healthy competition. Without competition there’s no fun. We have quite a few bowlers in our team and we all keep competing against each other in a good way for wickets.
Would you rate this as your best performance in IPL 2013 so far?
I will rate the first game, against the Mumbai Indians in which I defended 10 runs in the final over, as my best. They had batsmen like (Ambati) Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and (Kieron) Pollard batting for them at that time and to have won the match by restricting them was a very good feeling. I will not discount this performance. I bowled really well today. But that was more special because of the match situation.
From a young upcoming bowler, you are soon turning out to be one of RCB’s most consistent pacers. To what would you credit this growth?
I have come across many coaches and senior bowlers who have helped me become a better bowler. When I spent some time with the Indian team, people like MS Dhoni and others talked to me about my bowling. All those experiences helped me grow as a bowler.
When you were brought into the RCB team you were emerging as a first-class bowler. What changes has your bowling gone through after so many years of IPL?
The six years of IPL has helped me mature as a bowler, helped me develop the ability to thrive under pressure. Now when I face a pressure situation, I go in with confidence. In IPL if you’re not mentally tough you will not survive. You have to be smart, back yourself in crunch situations and keep evolving. In terms of my bowling, I tried the Malinga ball (sling-arm yorker) in the fourth season and got Chris Gayle out with it.
793: Runs scored by Chris Gayle at Bengaluru in IPL – most by any player. He went ahead of fellow teammate Virat Kohli’s tally of 777 runs. Interestingly Gayle was playing his 17th innings at Bengaluru as against Kohli’s 29.
111.36: Chris Gayle’s strike-rate in the match – his worst for Royal Challengers Bangalore where he faced 25 or more balls.
57: Number of wides sent down by Shaun Tait in IPL – nearly 3 wides per match!
5: Royal Challengers Bangalore have won all their five home games in IPL 2013.
2: Number of maiden overs bowled by Ravi Rampaul in IPL 2013. He emulated Delhi Daredevils’ Irfan Pathan in doing so.