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Interview

Shirin Sadikot in Cape Town

Batting gives me an edge: Irfan

DD pacer rubbishes the notion of batting having negative impact on his bowling

With their three-wicket win in Newlands over Perth Scorchers, the Delhi Daredevils have become the first IPL team to beat a non-IPL team in CLT20 2012. With Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians already out of the tournament, the Daredevils are also the last hopes of those who want to see a team from India in the knock-out stage.

While the win over the Scorchers has taken them closer to that goal, DD made heavy weather of the modest 122-run target they were set. Except Virender Sehwag (52 off 44 balls), none of their famed batting line-up put up any significant score. Irfan Pathan, who scored crucial 14 runs in the tricky chase, spoke to
clt20.com after the match.

The left-arm seamer reckoned DD have all areas covered when it comes to doing well in the CLT20 in the South African conditions. He also spoke about his aspirations to keep growing as an all-rounder and playing more Test cricket for India.

Excerpts
from his interview:


The Delhi Daredevils have kept the IPL flag waving in the tournament.

It was too close for comfort. We’d have liked to win more easily than this but a win is still a win. We’ve got to make sure we keep going well and one IPL team goes the distance in the tournament.

Do you reckon out of all four IPL teams, the Daredevils have most balanced side suited for these conditions?


I reckon so. We have someone like Kevin Pietersen who’s a tall guy and can play the pull shot really well. Viru Bhai is a good cutter of the ball. We also have a good pace attack, which makes a lot of difference in these conditions. So, you can say that we have the team but eventually you have to go out and perform on that day.

How much did Morne Morkel and Eric Simons help the Indian pacers in the team?

Morne does give his inputs. We have an advantage of having Eric Simons as the coach. Our trainer, Robert Walter is also a South African, so he too has had a big role to play in getting us used to these conditions

Does it get a little tough to adapt to these wickets when you’re used to bowling on the non-responsive Indian tracks?

The only thing that becomes difficult is the length. The length we bowl back home in India is a little shorter. If we bowl that length here, it becomes very easy to put the ball away. Here we have to be a lot fuller to be able to make the most of the conditions. We obviously try to adapt to that change by bowling in the nets but nothing is quite like playing matches. It’s not that if the conditions are good for bowling, you just need to go out there and bowl any way you want and you’ll take wickets. You’ve still got to hit the right length. The good length varies according to the wicket. So, like batsmen, we bowlers too have to adjust to it.

As a seam bowler, are you happy that the tournament is held here this year?

Since I made my international comeback, I am pretty certain and confident of performing anywhere, irrespective of whether the wicket suits me or not or if I’m bowling with the new or old ball. It’s of course, fun playing in these conditions but for me. I love playing cricket anywhere in the world.

How much have you been working on your batting?


I feel good about my batting. It’s just a matter of getting out there and getting that feel of bat for a few balls, which I did today. 14 is not a big score but at least I got to bat. I’m working hard on my batting and when I go back home from here, I want to score a lot of runs in domestic cricket along with taking wickets. I also have my aims to play the longer version of cricket for India.

Are you still averse to being labelled an all-rounder?

People can call me all-rounder if they want. I don’t get bothered. All I want to focus on is getting better, as a bowler and as a batsman. Even during my Under-16 days I used to love batting and it’s not at the international cricket I suddenly started batting high up the order. A lot of people say that my bowling was affected by my batting. I don’t buy that. In fact, I believe my batting gives me the edge. 

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