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It is a given that Murali Vijay is stylish. An in-form Vijay displays class, elegance and solid temperament. Some of his knocks have proved his credentials as a batsman in whites and even in the shortest format of the game for his previous IPL franchise – Chennai Super Kings. It was no different on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Sharjah as Vijay composed a steady knock of 40 in 34 balls.
“What a player!” Delhi Daredevils captain Kevin Pietersen exclaimed as he was full of praise for his opening batman. There are few who can stop Vijay when he is in full flow. And slowly but steadily, Vijay seems to be getting close to retaining his batting mojo. For Vijay, it is all about being more consistent. “I want to be more consistent in my performances. I am working on that aspect.” Vijay said during his chat with IPLT20.com. “As far as my batting is concerned, I have been batting well. Once I get consistency in my batting, I will get going.”
Vijay scored a half-century in the previous game, against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. With two back-to-back valuable performances for the team, Vijay was a happy man. “I have been batting pretty well in the domestic season and have been hitting the ball really well. I just want to carry forward my good form to this IPL season. I am happy that my contribution has helped my team win today.”
Vijay’s knock of 40 was laced with four boundaries and one six, and it looked as if he would finish off the game from there. Unfortunately, he was bowled by Rohit Sharma while attempting a slog sweep. Not surprisingly, he was disappointed. “I should have won the match from there. There was no pressure on the team and on myself. I know I should have finished the game being the set batsman. I knew the batsmen coming in would find it difficult. I will try and finish the next game for the Daredevils,” added Vijay.
He may have played for Chennai Super Kings all these years, but Vijay loves his new dressing room as well. “I played for five years for the Chennai Super Kings and it is going to be a different feeling for me in the Delhi Daredevils dressing room. But the boys in the team are really good and we are looking forward to having a good season.”
The stylish right-hander also spoke about the uncomplicated methods of the Daredevils that allow every player to play freely. “Kevin Pietersen and the Daredevils have a simple game plan. No one in this line-up has to be told anything because everyone in the team has played some level of international cricket. KP definitely brings a lot of experience to the team and it is good to be around with some good players.”
The Daredevils have ended their UAE leg on a high note. They next play the Rajasthan Royals on their home ground – Ferozeshah Kotla. For Vijay and company, it is all about keeping the momentum going. “We have nine more games to go and hopefully we can take this winning momentum into the India leg of the tournament.”
When Wayne Parnell made his ODI debut, he was still in his teens. He was lean, quick and was considered to be one of the biggest prospects in the pace department for South Africa. Since then, Parnell has had a rollercoaster journey. Like many fast bowlers, he has been marred by inconsistency and injuries that kept him out of cricket. He made his Test debut in 2010, only to don the whites again four years later.
Parnell insists he has matured with time, has battled the tide of the past and plans to keep a steady head on his shoulders. He claims that he is enjoying his stint with his new IPL franchise – Delhi Daredevils – where players play for the ‘badge’ rather than playing for themselves. After his economical spell against Mumbai Indians on Sunday, the fast bowler was kind enough to chat with IPLT20.com. Here, Parnell talks about bowling patterns in the Delhi Daredevils, his conversations with fellow pacers, Jaydev Unadkat and Mohammed Shami, and the calmness their captain Kevin Pietersen brings to the dressing room.
Excerpts from his interview:
The team would be happy to end the UAE leg on a high.
It is nice to get some momentum going in to India. I feel we have been playing really good cricket over the past few games. Most of our losses in the tournament have been close, barring the game against Chennai Super Kings where we were outplayed.
What kind of chats do you have with your fast bowling partners, Mohammed Shami and Jaydev Unadkat?
I was actually speaking to one of the owners the other day. He mentioned to me that the Delhi Daredevils play for the badge and not for themselves. As a collective bowling unit, we share information. We feel that the information sharing between bowlers is vital because you have a mix of international players and local Indian players playing in the opposition. The constant sharing of information between us helps us perform well as a unit.
Are there different roles for different bowlers in the Daredevils bowling line-up?
We do what the captain needs from us. We haven’t really got a set pattern to our bowling. Most teams have certain bowlers bowling in certain areas. Usually, I have bowled in the powerplays and then bowled towards the back-end of the game. In the last two games, I have mixed it up and bowled in both situations and also in the middle overs, which is something different for me. It is all about executing those different roles for me and the other bowlers, which will augur well for the team.
How is it bowling under Kevin Pietersen’s captaincy?
It is wonderful. Kevin Pietersen brings his own energy to the team and his calmness rubs off on the other players. If you have a calm captain, you have a calm team as well. Having confidence helps you and having the backing of the support staff and the captain is massive for any cricketer. Everyone wants to be backed by the leaders, and I feel I have that backing.
You have a reputation of bowling quick. What is the reason behind you bowling slower these days?
I was speaking to Gary Kirsten earlier regarding the pace I have to bowl. Normally, I bowl close to 130-140 kph, but today on this surface, it was crucial to take the pace off the ball rather than getting more pace on the ball. Even if you are bowling fast, you have to be smart enough to realise that it might not be the best option. I bowled 90 percent slower balls, which I am not quite used to doing, but it obviously worked.
Fast bowlers are bowling slower and the spinners are bowling faster. Is this due to the nature of the T20 format?
The batsmen have become really good over the past couple of seasons. You have to be a clever bowler in this format of the game, and I have realised it will help you. I feel assessing the wicket is the most important asset, and if you can use that well, you will do well.
You have been through a lot of ups and downs in your international career. Have you matured with time?
Over the last 12 to 16 months, after being out of the national team, I went back to domestic cricket and put up some decent performances to get back into the South African side. I have also learnt to wait for my chances and do well for the team when I do get a chance. You have the likes of Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn in the pace attack for South Africa, and for me as a young guy, I have to hang in there and perform well when I am required.