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Pravin Tambe accounted for the crucial wickets of Kevin Pietersen and Quinton de Kock to help restrict the hosts, Delhi Daredevils, to 152 for five, after Rajasthan Royals opted to field first at Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium.
The crafty leg-spinner planned and claimed the dangerous DD captain ensuring that he did not capitalise on the life he had received earlier in his innings. Tambe then sent back the well-set de Kock. While Pietersen holed out to long-on, Tambe took a good return catch as de Kock looked drive the ball but ended up sending it back to the bowler.
While speaking to iplt20.com after the victory, Tambe talked about his bowling and his team’s effort during tonight’s game.
Excerpts from his interview:
How important was it to win the first match of the India leg?
All the matches are crucial. It was the first match of the India leg and we also had to adjust to the conditions and we did well. Everyone fulfilled their role well.
What was your plan for Pietersen?
His wicket was very important because he is a big player and everyone knows that. And if he stays at the wicket, he can turn things around for his team. We knew that he would target at least one bowler. I was the only spinner, so I thought he would target me. I knew the areas that I had to bowl in, and I bowled according to the plan and got his wicket. Will you elaborate on ‘the right areas’ you try to bowl in?
T20 is a game where even a small mistake will cost you. So I try and see that I don’t let the batsman swing the bat. If he tries to hit, then I would get his wicket. So I try to cramp the batsman; I try and work on that area. So when I pitched it in the right area and Pietersen tried to hit me, I got the wicket as he mistimed it and was caught near the ropes at long-on.
How did you set up de Kock, who had looked to take you on?
I wanted to bowl stump-to-stump and I knew that he would take his chances. He had been at the wicket for a long time and I knew that there was a good possibility that he would get out if he took the chance (by going after me).
Your catch to get him out was a good take
As a spinner, you have to practice in the nets to take those catches, and it is from there that we get the confidence of taking return catches. And today, I was able to take the catch.
What was your assessment of the wicket?
There was turn in the wicket, but it was up to the bowler how to bowl and utilise the conditions. This is Twenty20 cricket and if the batsman gets the opportunity, he will look to hit you for a six. You should know what areas to bowl in. What did you make of the 153-run target?
We had the confidence that the total was chaseable. The boundaries too were small.
What was the plan while bowling to JP Duminy and Kedar Jadhav, given that they were the last recognised batsmen in the DD line-up?
In T20 anyone can come out and hit a few runs. So we had decided to stick to our plan and not try and do something different whether it was a lower-order or a top-order batsman. We work according to our plans.
A word on Karun Nair’s match-winning knock
Superb! He played the kind of innings that we wanted from him today. He showed his ability to play big knocks.
With a 31-ball 39, JP Duminy played a crucial role in setting the Rajasthan Royals a competitive target in Delhi Daredevils’ first match of the India leg of Pepsi Indian Premier League 2014. Walking to the crease with his team on 71 for three at the end of 10 overs, the middle-order batsman shouldered the responsibility of taking his side to a respectable total. After biding his time at the crease, he took on the Royals’ attack with Kedar Jadhav. The pair’s 25-ball 46-run partnership helped their team to 152 for five at the end of their innings.
Duminy first dropped anchor and consolidated his position, before accelerating in the last quarter of the innings. Although he departed with three balls left in the innings, his contribution had helped add 58 runs in the last five overs.
While reflecting on the loss to RR, Duminy said that although they had done well to reach a decent total – given their situation at the halfway stage of the game – DD were a few runs short in the end. However, he also lauded Jadhav’s 14-ball 28-run effort while speaking to iplt20.com.
Excerpts from his interview:
Would you say you were a few runs short in the end?
Given the nature of the wicket, I think we put on a defendable total. The wicket was quite slow. And losing wickets at crucial times, I always felt that 140-150 runs are going to be defendable. Unfortunately, we didn’t take enough wickets up front to put pressure on them. They played quite freely up front, only losing the one wicket in the first nine overs. It was going to be crucial striking early. But yes, in the end, you can say that maybe we were 10 runs short. But we did well to get to 152 runs in the end.
What was your plan when you came in to bat? Were you playing by the pitch or with a target in mind?
Given the nature of the wicket, it was always going to be difficult for a new guy to come in and start scoring. As I said, we lost wickets at crucial stages, so it was about trying to consolidate and to try and get to a decent enough total after 15 overs and try and launch from there. It was a defendable total, but unfortunately, they played really well.
What was your advice to Kedar Jadhav given that after the two of you there were only bowlers to follow in the line-up?
It was always crucial to try and bat as deep as possible so that he could play as freely as he did. He played an exceptional knock to get us 150-odd runs. And we needed to set the game up; for that it was just about trying to get that base after 17 overs. And we did it nicely and obviously we launched in to the attack after 17 overs to get to 152 runs.
How did you work on shaping your innings, given that you changed gears after consolidating your position?
It is about reading the situation. Losing three wickets in 10 overs is probably losing one wicket too many, especially with our batting line-up. So I was just trying to consolidate and build a partnership with Dinesh Karthik, and then try and launch from there. But unfortunately, he got out in the 16th over, which was probably crucial for us, as we could have launched in to the attack as well and if we would have been able to do that, we could have probably posted around 160-165 runs. But that’s the nature of the game. You can roll the dice and it might not work one day. But yes, I think we did exceptionally well to get to 152.
Enjoying the responsibility that you have with the Daredevils?
Thoroughly enjoying it! It’s a great bunch of guys. It’s a good mix of international and local players. The guys are vibing nicely. It is just about getting the momentum of one or two wins under your belt and all will be smooth sailing. There is a still a long way to go in this tournament; you never know what can happen.
You are known for your calm approach and ability to finish games. How do you see your role in the team?
Depending on where I am coming in to bat, it is just about trying to read the situation. On some days it is not going to work. It is about understanding the strategy behind what you are trying to achieve and just giving it to your best.
How has it been playing under Kevin Pietersen?
Enjoying it! He is an unbelievable player for us and it’s just around the corner for him to strike for us. And like I said, there is a long way for us to go in the tournament. The guys are keen to get firing again.