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When JP Duminy walked out in the middle to bat, the Delhi Daredevils were tottering at 17 for three in the fifth over. At one stage, it looked as if the Daredevils would get out cheaply and fail to register a competitive total at the end of 20 overs. However, Duminy had other plans as he worked his way to an unbeaten 67 to get his team to a total of 145 in 20 overs.
In the end, however, it wasn’t enough against a power packed batting RCB line-up that chased the total with ease. Nevertheless, the middle-order batsman was happy he could get some runs at the start of the tournament. “It is always good to get some runs. It is a new franchise and you want to perform for them. Unfortunately, we could not get a win, but we put up a good fight,” Duminy told IPLT20.com after the game.
Duminy stitched an unbeaten 110-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Ross Taylor. This stand was one of the biggest plus points for the Daredevils in the match. Both batsmen played according to a plan, which augured well for their team. “We had lost a lot of wickets up front and our aim out there was to build a partnership and not give away our wickets easily. We did just that and set a competitive total of 145. But unfortunately, there were a couple of errors on the field and other things, which did not go our way.”
Duminy also claimed that his partnership with Taylor was an enjoyable one. He said, “Ross and I have played international cricket for a number of years now and we both shared experiences and ideas in the middle. It was the first time that I was batting with him and it was really exciting and enjoyable. It was good to hear his ideas and the way he goes about his business, and obviously, we can always learn from each other.”
When asked if it was tough to bat under such testing conditions when the chips are down, Duminy replied with a smile, “I have played quite a few such innings in the past. I backed my natural instincts while playing today, and as a player, you got to read the situations. It was nothing new, to be honest, and I knew we needed to set up the game for the back end, and it worked nicely for us.”
So has he been given the role of a finisher in the side? “Not really. But today, I had to come in and consolidate a bit, try to work the ones and try to pick up the odd boundary and finish it at the end. I am pleased that I got an opportunity to put in a performance for the team, and I only hope it continues.”
Talking about finishers, his South Africa teammate AB de Villiers is considered to be one of the best in the game. And Duminy was all praise for his compatriot. “I have taken a tip or two from AB de Villiers. He is an outstanding player and has done the job many times for South Africa and for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. So you can only learn from someone like that. And it is always great to be a part of the team he is playing in. Unfortunately, we got to play against him this year, but it is always exciting.”
When Varun Aaron clocked 153 kmph in a Ranji Trophy game back in the 2010-11 season, everyone got a feeling India had finally unearthed a talented fast bowler. A bowler who could generate genuine pace even on flat tracks. That he did and still continues to do so. This intent to bowl fast, as he claims, comes from his father who inspired him to take up pace bowling.
On Thursday night at a packed stadium in Sharjah, Varun Aaron bowled with a lot of venom and made the going tough for the Delhi Daredevils batsmen. He got a wicket off his very first ball in IPL 2014, and later, caught JP Duminy off-guard with a 145 kmph bouncer. “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the IPL. Getting a wicket first ball was a great feeling.” Aaron said, while speaking to IPLT20.com after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s comprehensive eight-wicket win over the Daredevils.
Aaron ended up with the most economical figures in the game, conceding just nine runs in his three overs with a wicket to his name and was happy that his side kicked off their campaign with a win.“It is great to start on a winning note and to win so convincingly is a really good feeling. I am sure it would have done a world of good for everyone’s confidence.”
Aaron was part of the Indian World T20 squad, in Bangladesh. He got a couple of warm-up games, but had to sit out for the rest of the tournament. This brought in him the vigour to perform the moment he got an opportunity.
“I was really looking forward to this first game in the IPL. I sat out for the entire World T20, and it was not easy. I was very eager to get out in the middle and bowl well. I am glad it came out well today. My intention was to bowl well and help our team to a victory.”
The 24-year-old pacer made full use of the wicket that had a lot to offer for the fast bowlers. But Aaron knows it isn’t going to be a bed of roses for him in the competition. “It was a nice batting track and had a nice carry, which I like. Having said that, I am not going to get fast bowling friendly tracks in these T20 games, but it is encouraging to see a wicket with a lot of carry like that.”
Some fast bowlers tend to get wayward with their line and length while looking to generate pace and Aaron is aware of the fact that he cannot get carried away by speed alone. “If you are playing at the highest level, you have to have everything in your armoury. Bowling fast alone will not help you. You have to bowl in the right areas to be a good bowler. Bowling fast comes naturally to me and I don’t really think about the pace aspect too much. If you can bowl fast, it is always an added advantage and a bonus.”
It has been a common phenomenon that most fast bowlers in India tend to reduce their pace to focus on line and length. But Aaron believes he will never stop bowling fast. “I have had five stress fractures and still haven’t cut down on pace and I don’t think I ever will.”