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When Kane Richardson removed Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers off successive deliveries to leave Royal Challengers Bangalore at five for four after 2.2 overs, he pretty much sealed the fate of the match in Rajasthan Royals’ favour.
After his performance of two for 18 in four overs, Richardson must consider changing the bio on his Twitter profile, which currently says, “I am not Kane Williamson”, for no one will now mistake the bearded Aussie pacer for the diminutive Kiwi batsman.
Post RR’s comfortable six-wicket win over RCB, Richardson spoke with iplt20.com about the brilliant day his team had on the field.
Here are excerpts of that interview:
Did something get into the RR bowlers or the RCB batsmen today?
That’s a good question. It’s just one of those days in T20 when things go your way and it snowballs from there. To get two wickets in the first over with one run-out was a bonus. There were some poor shots from them, I will be the first one to admit that, but we are not going to complain about that. When you are chasing 71, you expect to win the game, going four down and winning it, we are happy.
Not many convincing shots were played off the bat. Was the wicket that difficult to bat on?
I think it was a bit slow, but over here you kind of expect that. In the game between CSK and KXIP, both team scored 200-plus. Today, it was much different, but still the new ball came on to the bat pretty well as it showed when we batted. For RCB, after being four down, it was hard to come back into the game.
Is bowling back-of-a-length without giving much pace the wide bowling plan?
It was definitely the case in the last match, against CSK. I didn’t play, but the boys seemed to apply that strategy quite well. We continued with that plan in this game as well and it is definitely a strength of ours. But we also have to keep adapting to the batsmen we bowl at. At the moment, it is working pretty well for us.
The ball that got Yuvraj was only 130 kph. Did you expect that one to go to the slips so quickly?
I didn’t bowl quickly today and just let the pitch do its bit. There was also a touch of swing in the wicket and it worked in my favour. Yuvraj was a big wicket, along with AB (de Villiers), and formed the big three in the middle order with Virat. To get Yuvraj and AB in quick succession was a huge blow because it left Virat with a bit too much to do.
And you surely didn’t expect AB de Villiers to hit that shot, did you?
I didn’t. I was just trying to hit the stumps, but failed to do so. Luckily, he chopped it on. That’s cricket.
Do you think it has been advantageous for you to have an Australian captain with this team?
Definitely. The communication barrier drops down. Having said that, Shane is new to the job as well, but he has adapted quickly. I am new in the Royals camp, but he has taken me on board and given me confidence.
As a pacer, are you missing someone like an Allan Donald by your side this year?
I do and he was an amazing influence last year with the Pune franchise. But here, the good thing is that I am pretty much on my own. I have to learn and think for myself. If I can start doing that at 23, it should help me in the long run.
It was a dominant performance by the men in yellow who made it three wins in a row after a minor blip in the first match of the tournament. The Chennai Super Kings bowlers were clinical in all departments. Their bowlers restricted the Mumbai Indians for 141, and the batsmen chased down the target without any hiccups. Mohit Sharma was the pick of the bowlers who took top honours by claiming four wickets in as many overs. Young Ishwar Pandey too did his bit of controlling the run flow at one end as Ben Hilfenhaus claimed two in his four overs.
Hilfenhaus is almost like a leader of the young pace attack who according to him are getting better with each game. In this quick chat with IPLT20.com, Hilfenhaus talks about his role in the Chennai Super Kings pace attack and tells us how you can never stop learning from the game of cricket.
Excerpts from the interview…
Three back-to-back wins for the team, CSK back to doing what they best, winning games.
Yes definitely, it was a great performance from the boys tonight. It is nice to be on a roll in T20 cricket and it is good to be on that roll at the moment. Hopefully we can just continue that for the rest of the tournament.
Personally how good are you feeling about your bowling this season?
I have not been bad at times I would say. There are certain things that I feel I need to improve at. It gets tough to spend time in the nets when you have such a hectic schedule but hopefully we can keep improving in those couple of days between matches.
Tonight you got your former CSK teammate Michael Hussey for 1. Knowing Hussey and his game all these years what was the plan that you stuck to while bowling at him?
It is always nice to get Hussey’s wicket. He is such a dangerous player and to pick him cheaply like we did set the ball rolling for us. It is nice to starve him for runs. I just tried to stay away from his strengths and got lucky at the end of the day. He is such a good player. In T20 cricket all you can do is control the areas where you want to bowl or else the batsmen will charge you or slog you and you will go for runs.
With young bowlers like Ishwar Pandey and Mohit Sharma, have you been given the role of leading the pace attack?
I wouldn’t say I have been given the role, but I am definitely there to help them out and help them grow as fast bowlers. They both are developing really well and they have stood up in the first initial days of the tournament and done well. These are exciting times for Chennai Super Kings.
Do you also learn in the process while helping these youngsters on their game?
In this game you are always learning. I am still trying to learn things and you never know everything about this game. Sometimes by actually thinking about their game or my game I learn in the process. Hopefully I continue to keep improving and go from there.
Tonight you picked up two wickets but were on the expensive side. How do you plan to become more economical in the games to come?
I have always tried to be as economical as possible. I leaked too many runs tonight but you know that’s T20 cricket. You bowl well and go for a few some days and you bowl poorly and don’t go for as many. The idea is to keep controlling every ball you bowl and hope that you bowl a dot (Laughs).
You have played under MS Dhoni’s captaincy all these years for CSK. Has he changed as a captain with time?
He has not changed at least since the time I have been around. He is good to play under and there are exciting times ahead.