The Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers helped set up the match in their team’s favour by restricting the Mumbai Indians to 141 at Cuttack. While the spinners kept the opposition batsmen on a tight leash, pacer Morne Morkel gave the team an early breakthrough with just 12 runs on the board, and later, picked up the important wicket of Corey Anderson.
The tall South African fast bowler, who finished with two wickets, spoke about the importance of having the right mindset and good body language while bowling during his post-game chat with IPLT20.com. He also talked about his preparation going forward.
Excerpts from his interview:
These are must-win matches for KKR. How much pressure do you feel? How do you cope with it?
Like you said, it is a must-win game. It was important for us to close the chapter tonight and move forward and take it game by game, ball by ball and not to look too far ahead.
Was the way you had played against KXIP one of the reasons to opt to bowl first today?
We had a slight advantage playing and knowing the conditions here. But still, it was equal for both the sides. And the way our spinners bowled tonight was unbelievable.
How do you prepare for pitch like the one you played on?
It is definitely in my advantage if the wickets are keeping a bit low. I like to develop and be seen as a bowler who can bowl in all sorts of conditions and not only on bouncy tracks. I will take the result tonight; I am happy with that.
How do bowlers adapt to the different wickets in a tournament?
It has to do with the planning that we do beforehand. You get a feel for the conditions and we communicate during the innings amongst the bowlers and we discuss what type of tactics to go with. And I think that is the key for us to keep communicating as the bowling innings goes forward about what works and what doesn’t work. How do you decide what kind of lengths to bowl to batsmen and how to prepare for bowling to someone like Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard?
It just depends on the wicket. They are always going to hit good shots as they are quality players. So it is about reading the conditions quite early and making a decision and backing it. It’s largely been a batsman's game this season. How does a fast bowler then look to keep a hold on the situation?
I think it is always going to be a competition between the bat and ball. It is important for us as bowlers to keep calm and focus on our bowling ball-by-ball.
Do you focus on taking wickets or restricting the flow of runs?
I think it is a bit of both. I think it is important for me to have an aggressive mindset, and to think wickets, but not bowl for wickets. I don’t really bowl for wickets, but I think wickets.
How important is intimidating the batsman for a fast bowler?
Body language is the key. Intimidation is one thing, but I think it is key to have a good body language.
What bowling tips has Wasim Akram given you?
The thing that I am working on with Wasim is to keep hitting the crease and to get in good position at the crease. If I am in a strong position at the crease, then the ball will do the work for me.