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When Michael Hussey gets runs, you applaud his fitness and his finesse while playing certain shots. That was exactly the case at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, as Hussey gave a lot of reasons to cheer to the Mumbai Indians fans. He creamed the bowlers with ease and paved his way to a 33-ball 56 to put Mumbai Indians in a commanding position at the end of 20 overs.
Hussey was a happy man after his match-winning knock and spared a few minutes for a chat with IPLT20.com. The opener spoke about his love for the crowd at Wankhede Stadium and also applauded the team for putting up a good show at the backend of the tournament.
Excerpts from his interview:
How satisfying is it to get a match-winning knock in your first game at home?
It is a great feeling and I have to say this is one of my favorite stadiums in the whole world. The atmosphere in the ground is absolutely incredible. I was desperate to get an opportunity to play here and I am very thankful to have got a chance.
What is the most pleasing thing about this knock?
We needed a win and needed to play good cricket. It was a good batting pitch and it was important to get some runs once you got your eye in. To get a half-century is very rewarding, but most importantly, we got another win and now we have given ourselves another chance if the permutations and combinations go our way.
Is it safe to say that you have got into your groove after getting two half-centuries under your belt?
I have felt like I have had it in most of the tournament. But in cricket, sometimes it doesn’t go your way. I have been working hard in the nets and have been feeling good. But unfortunately, I couldn’t bat well until the last two matches. It is just nice to have a positive influence on the team.
Personally, how do you aim to prepare yourself for the next year?
I am not thinking too far ahead as yet. I am just thinking to perform as well as I can when I get an opportunity. As a team, we have shown a lot of character to still stand a chance of making it to the Playoffs after going down in the first five matches. I just want to get a win. I don’t care who gets the runs. Even if I get a duck and we win, I will be happy.
South African fast bowler Marchant de Lange has now played for two big franchises in the IPL. He represented the Kolkata Knight Riders in the past and is now playing for the Mumbai Indians in Pepsi IPL 2014. While the stint with KKR helped de Lange learn a lot from Wasim Akram – KKR’s bowling coach – with the Mumbai Indians, the fast bowler aims to shadow Lasith Malinga, who seems to have made quite an impact on the 23-year-old.
In his debut game for the Mumbai Indians on Friday, de Lange did not get his wickets tally soaring, but he sure lived up every moment in front of a packed house at Wankhede Stadium as his team sealed a crucial win. In this post-match chat with IPLT20.com, de Lange speaks about his debut and his goal to learn as much as he can from Lasith Malinga during his MI stint. Excerpts from his interview:
How has the transition from the Knight Riders to the Mumbai Indians been?
It has been a good change. I had a great time with the Kolkata Knight Riders, who have a brilliant team and a good vibe. There is also a good vibe here with the Mumbai Indians and I am enjoying the atmosphere and the vibe here. The Mumbai Indians are a very proud franchise and they are proud of every individual in the team. And when you talk about Mumbai Indians, you cannot help but think about Sachin Tendulkar. To have the presence of a cricket legend like Sachin Tendulkar is always special. It is a big honour.
Your first game for the Mumbai Indians and that too at home; enjoyed it?
Absolutely! It is an excellent crowd and the supporters of the Mumbai Indians are brilliant. It is a great feeling to be out there in the middle and bowl in front of such a beautiful crowd. I am proud to play for the Mumbai Indians and it was a great opportunity for me to get a chance here.
You spoke about getting a chance. What kept you going when you were not getting a chance to feature in the playing XI?
The whole motive during that period was to stay fit and try and stay at the top of your game if you get an opportunity like tonight. Sometimes, it is tough to be on the bench and you need to be calm, motivate yourself and stay in the moment. If your mental side of the game is prepared, then you will be fine. The Delhi Daredevils needed 32 in the last two overs, and you were asked to bowl the penultimate over. Were you nervous?
I would not call them nerves, but as a bowler, I know for a fact that in this format of the game you always stand an opportunity to get that many runs in the last two overs. I just backed myself in that over and tried my best to execute what I am capable of. I took it ball by ball, and I am glad I didn’t give away too many runs in that penultimate over. You spoke about the presence of Sachin Tendulkar. But as a bowler, how much have you taken from Lasith Malinga?
I have not been training with him a lot in the nets, but I have been speaking a lot to him about the game off the field. He has brilliant knowledge and is an unbelievable cricketer. He is really like a mentor to all the young bowlers in the Mumbai Indians. My goal is to be like Lasith Malinga, who is one of the best death bowlers in the world. I would also love to become better while bowling at the start of the innings. I want to work on my opening bowling, when only two fielders are outside the circle. As a cricketer, I still have a lot to learn and grow.
The big stage and a big game; was it also a happy debut for you?
It was a brilliant debut for me and to play my first game in front of the home crowd is special. It is enjoyable to play at the Wankhede. I had the privilege to play for KKR at the Eden Gardens and now I consider myself lucky to be playing for MI at Wankhede. It is my dream come true.