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Over the last few weeks, theMumbai Indianshave proved that they have one of the most potent new-ball attacks in the league. Led by Mitchell Johnson and ably supported by Dhawal Kulkarni, the star-studded team’s bowling attack has dominated some of the most daunting line-ups around.
Even against the Rajasthan Royals, the Johnson-Kulkarni duo ensured the visitors were dealt early blows from which they could not fully recover. This bowling partnership has taught the 24-year-old Kulkarni how to bowl in tandem with a top-class international bowler while sticking to his basics.
Here are excerpts from Kulkarni’s post-game chat with IPLT20.com:
On giving MI good starts with the new ball
It is always good to share the new ball with an international bowler like Mitchell Johnson. And he is a class act, so I get to learn many things like how to be aggressive at the start of the innings. It also teaches me a lot of stuff like bowling in partnerships. For example, when he is attacking, I just try to pull myself back and stick to my basics.
Mitchell is especially good. Whenever he has got the opportunity to pick up wickets up front, he has done his job well. That is exactly the job that has been assigned to the new ball bowlers, to go and pick wickets up front.
On the Wankhede Stadium as an impenetrable fortress for MI
The Wankhede Stadium has been really good for us. It is great to win all games at our home ground. The crowd support has been really fantastic. And when the crowd is behind you, nobody can stop you. Everyone is with you with all positive energy. It gives a lot of support to all the players.
On getting his Mumbai team-mate, Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket while playing RR
It is always good to get your best buddy’s wicket. He is one of my best friends in the Mumbai Ranji team, and it is good to bowl at him. It is a different game altogether out there. There is no friendship, and there is complete aggression when we compete against each other.
On performing on a big stage like the IPL
For a youngster like me, while playing in the IPL there is always pressure. But I have to enjoy this pressure. I cannot just hold my self back; I need to express myself on the field.
And as a team, we have to stick to our basics. We cannot think about being on the top of the table or in the top two. We just need to take it one game at a time.
On sharing the dressing room with international pacers
Sharing the dressing room with senior international players is really good. You get to learn a lot, and I keep improving myself day by day. I try to learn from all the things they have to share.
RR’s 41-year-old rookie cherishes picking maiden IPL scalp
By Harsh Kalan
Mumbai 16 May 2013
For 41-year-old Pravin Tambe, the last couple of months have been unlike any other he has ever experienced, seeing as how he was an unlikely inclusion in the Rajasthan Royals’ squad. Since then, the Mumbai-based spinner has been a talking point among the cricketing faithful across the country.
However, Tambe’s journey has stretched many years prior to IPL 2013, when as a club cricketer he toiled in virtual anonymity. During all those years – and even post 40 – Tambe was driven by his love and passion towards a sport that has now afforded him the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best in the world. In only his second IPL outing, Tambe got to bowl against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. While the leggie has plied his trade at this ground before, it has always been at the club level. Showcasing his skills in front of a packed house at the home of Indian cricket was undoubtedly a dream come true for him.
Here are excerpts from Tambe’s exclusive chat with IPLT20.com, during which he also spoke about emulating legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble:
On getting his first IPL wicket
It felt really good to get my first IPL wicket (against MI), especially when my team needed it. I was waiting since the last time I got an opportunity to play and this time I got a wicket. But unfortunately, I gave away a few extra runs than expected, but I am happy about the wicket.
On playing at Wankhede Stadium
Actually, it is a dream come true! I have played plenty of matches here, but since I got to play an IPL game here, I am very happy. I have played club cricket here, so I knew a bit about the ground. However, playing in the IPL out here is something else.
On missing out on bowling to Sachin Tendulkar, who did not play versus RR
It was also my dream to bowl against Sachin Tendulkar. I was wondering whether I would get to bowl at him, but it didn’t happen during this game.
Whether he has picked up any new tricks from other spinners in the league
Actually, I don’t learn new tricks as such at this stage in my life. I just exchange knowledge with other spinners. However, at this level, you cannot try too many things and have to stick to what you know.
On his leg-spin role model
Anil Kumble is my role model and I have always been following him. I was lucky that I once played a benefit match in Jaipur at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium where I saw him. From then he has been my idol!
On playing top-level cricket post 40
People are often surprised when they see me, since I do everything – I field, I bat and I bowl. Personally, I don’t feel like I have grown old at all.
On what has kept him going all these years
Love and passion! I have a lot of passion for cricket and I have got a lot of support from home – from my parents, siblings, wife and even kids. That is why I still enjoy playing cricket so much.
On his personal expectations this season
When I got selected by RR, I decided that I need to perform well. Since I have never played Ranji Trophy, I wanted to prove that I could perform at this level. So getting this chance is big for me, and while I haven’t really performed exceptionally yet, I am satisfied with the way things have turned out for me so far.