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Need to be cautious while opening in SA: Lumb

Sixers’ opener says new ball has been dominating the competition

Following on the footsteps of his father, Michael Lumb took to cricket and opening the innings for his side. The South African-born cricketer who is representing the Sydney Sixers in the Karbonn Champions League Twenty20 2012 also plays for England in T20Is. With 111 runs from four games in the tournament, he is currently averaging 37 with a highest score of 43 not out. A prolific run-scorer he has been instrumental in the Sixers’ success in recent times.

In a competition, where the first six overs of the game have been decisive, the role of the opener has become critical to a team’s fortunes. While speaking to clt20.com Lumb talked about his role, opening in different conditions and opening with another aggressive batsman, Shane Watson.
Excerpts from his interview:

On the role of an opener in a competition like this

Here it has been different. The first six overs have been important. The sides that have lost two or three wickets early have seemed to struggle. So, we find that especially in the Highveld, the ball has been quicker and bouncing a bit; it would help maybe to keep wickets in hand and not go as hard as you normally would to try and get that start. The new ball seems to have been dominating the competition this time. So, it is more of a cautious role than the normal attacking role.

On batting with Shane Watson

Brilliant! It is sad that he has had to go home. He is a world-class player and he is great form. So, I was just looking to get a single and give him the strike to get him to face as many balls as possible.

On whether his role changes in the absence of Watson

Not really. I am still going to be aggressive and positive. We have won games without him now. So, even though we miss him we are still confident of winning without him.

On how do they work when both the openers are hard hitting

We just see who is going hard on that day and try to see if the other guy is going well. So, if someone is going well, the other one will give him the strike; it works well in building a partnership.

On opening consistently in T20

There is a lot of luck involved. It’s about just staying calm and watching the ball. It is about seeing the ball and backing yourself, backing your ability. But it’s about being calm as well. It gives you a lot more time to think out there in the middle.

On the difference in opening in T20s in England, Australia, South Africa and India

In India the wickets are a lot slower and spin plays a big part later on, so the first six overs are important. So, in India you go out hard at the bowling in the first six overs and the same is the case in England; you can take full advantage. But in Australia and South Africa you are still positive and aggressive, but just a little bit more cautious.

On the Sydney Sixers’ CLT20 campaign

It’s been brilliant. We have a great bunch of boys and we have great spirit and great team camaraderie, so we have been successful. There is one more game to go to get to the finals, so hopefully we can arrive here tomorrow and beat the Titans.

On playing against the Titans on their home ground

There will be a few Titans fans here tomorrow probably shouting and screaming at us from the boundary but that’s what we play for; we want to play in front of big crowds.

On the influence of his father Richard Lumb who was also a batsman

I am pretty lucky and it has been good growing up and he has helped me out a lot. We have had a few arguments here and there along the way on things that we don’t agree with. But I am lucky to have him; he was a good player and he is always there for me in England. All I have to do is pick up the phone and talk to him. He understands the game well, so I am very lucky to have him.

On the platform that CLT20 provides

In competitions like this and the IPL you are playing against the best players, good crowds and good atmosphere. So, it is always good to challenge yourself and test yourself against the best in the world. So, I think you will only do well by playing in these competitions.

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