A breakdown of the questions you voted on will appear here.
Pulse connects you to the
Get closer to the this season by using Pulse while you watch the LIVE matches. Pulse asks you a range of questions relevant to the LIVE action as it unfolds. Your votes will be featured in the telecast in real-time and debated by the commentators, players and stars. If you've got a great question of your own, we'd love to hear it.
When playing for South Africa, Imran Tahir is easy to spot. A streak of highlighted hair, delightfully innocent wicket celebrations and the fact that he is a leg-spinner! In the Delhi Daredevils camp, he gets the best of both worlds. In Gary Kirsten, JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock, Tahir has his mates from back home. And owing to his Pakistani heritage, he is at home with the Indian boys, conversing with them in fluent Hindi.
The only thing Tahir would like to change about his first IPL experience is his team’s results. But even in the tough times, he is soaking in all that the tournament has to offer, he said during his conversation with iplt20.com after DD’s 16-run loss to RCB in Bengaluru.
Tahir also told us what it means to be a leg-spinner in the T20 format and described Kevin Pietersen, the man and the player.
How has this IPL experience been for you so far?
It has been fantastic. I knew before I came here that it is going to be a huge challenge. I got a bit of a pounding today but hats off to Yuvraj; he played an unbelievable knock.
When you first set foot in the DD room, what was it like?
What struck me first in that change room was how positive the vibe was. The team is struggling with the results and it has been very hard on everyone in there because things haven’t gone the way they were planned. But yet there is so much positivity in there.
Did the presence of Gary Kirsten and a couple of your other South African mates like Duminy and de Kock make it easier for you to settle into the new team?
It did but I had one more advantage. Since I speak Hindi, the cultural and linguistic barrier with the Indian boys was instantly broken. On their part, everyone in the team made me feel welcomed and that made my life very easy.
How did this contract happen?
It happened very quickly. My wife and I recently had a baby boy, Gibraan, and I was changing nappies at home. But then Nathan Coulter-Nile got injured and I was told I might get the opportunity to come here and play for the Delhi Daredevils. And here I am. I want to play for my baby boy because he is the lucky charm.
This IPL has been a season of the Indian leg-spinners. Have you watched many of them? Any favourites?
I thought the young guy we played against today (Yuzverndra Chahal) is really good. I think he has got very good control over his deliveries and although the wicket didn’t help the leg-spinners today, he showed how special he is by foxing a great batsman like Kevin Pietersen with turn and getting him stumped.
As a leg-spinner yourself, do you think you guys are a gamble for captains in the T20 format?
Having a leggie in his team will excite any captain, although you wouldn’t want one in your side on a wicket like this one. But overall, they are an exciting option for the captain because they give you variations, can change the game quickly and are not loath to trying out different things despite the risk of being hit. Chahal, for example, went for runs today but he got Pietersen out with that beauty. That’s the excitement a leg-spinner brings to the game.
Do you have to make extra effort to not get disheartened when hit for a few in this format and let your bowling get flat?
We always have to remind ourselves that we cannot afford to be disheartened. We need to stay positive and continue doing what we do best.
How is Kevin Pietersen as a man and a captain?
I really think he is a wonderful guy, and I am not saying this because he is the captain. I know him since the days I played with him in South Africa and I can say that he is a very easy going guy. I can discuss anything with him. He is one of the main reasons why the Daredevils camp is so positive despite not winning games and everyone is grateful for that. To boot all that, he is a great player too.
The spring in his feet as he strides through his run-up, the eyes as wide as plates as he is about to release the ball and the look of a guileful assassin on his face as he waits to see if his prospective victim has fallen for his trick. And when the batsman has been removed, the display of unbridled joy belying his ripe age – Muttiah Muralitharan has still got it. All of it.
Playing only his second game of Pepsi IPL 2014, the Sri Lankan legend struck in the first over, removing Murali Vijay lbw with the one that went straight to the batsman, who fell in his attempt to sweep the ball. From there began Delhi Daredevils’ downslide and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s eventual win.
But Murali’s contribution to RCB’s revival goes much beyond that. He is, in a significant way, responsible for the return to form of Yuvraj Singh, who has piled up scores of 83 and 68* in his last two innings after a famine of runs.
In his interview with IPLT20.com after RCB’s 16-run win over DD, Muralitharan talks about Yuvraj’s sensational return among runs and what he thinks about the left-hander’s future with Team India. Here are excerpts from his interview:
You have still got it!
It’s not like before, but I was lucky today. All the boys bowled well too. It is very hard to defend scores on this ground, and I thought we all did very well.
How do you keep the magic intact after all these years?
I don’t know, maybe it’s God’s gift. I just keep working and trying hard to maintain my game and play whatever little while I still can.
How did it feel when you took that wicket of Vijay? Felt like a boy again?
Yes, I did (smiles). It was a good wicket because getting a wicket in the first over gives your team a firm upper hand. Personally, it boosted my confidence, and I think from there, I bowled very well through the match.
How does it feel to have a coach who is younger to you, in Daniel Vettori?
A few times, actually when I played for a few teams in West Indies, there were many coaches younger to me, and some of the guys I played against at the international level are now coaches. I still love playing the game and want to enjoy it a little more by playing in these T20 leagues. Do you think this season is the one that will see your gradual transformation from player to mentor?
I don’t know about that yet. We will see what happens. But currently, I have a few coaching assignments. There’s an academy in Kolkata where I have a three-year coaching contract. I go there for 10-day camps every three months. There are also other opportunities opening up, but right now, I would still like to play a bit more.
Have you been helping Yuvraj Singh with his game against spinners?
Who told you that? (laughs). Yes, I have been talking to Yuvi a lot. He is a great limited overs player, but his confidence was low. After the World Twenty20, the whole country put a lot of pressure on him. I know the situation well as I played for 20 years at the highest level. I knew it was just a matter of helping him regain his confidence. I was sure once he did that, he would be a different player. And after the way he has performed in the last two games, it seems I was right. I honestly think Yuvi has still got it and India should look after him because I feel he will play a big role in the 2015 World Cup. He will be India’s match-winner there.
How would you try to get AB de Villiers out in his current form?
I don’t want to say anything about that because I honestly don’t know how to get him out! I’m just glad that AB and Yuvi are in our team.
What is the reason the leg-spinners are doing so well in this IPL?
The leg-spinners generally get the ball to turn, and when they slip in a googly, it is difficult to read for many batsmen. Also, often we have seen a leg-spinner’s bad ball being hit straight to the fielder, resulting in a wicket. So, even lesser bowlers can take wickets in the T20 format, but you cannot guarantee similar success in the 50-over format or Test cricket. To succeed there, you need to be exceptionally talented like Shane Warne or Mushtaq Ahmed.