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Shirin Sadikot in Mohali

Nathan McCullum revels in successful ploy

Volts off-spinner glad to dismiss Shikhar opening the bowling

When they set foot in India for the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013 Qualifiers, the general consensus was that the Otago Volts would find it extremely difficult to outplay the three teams from the subcontinent. But the team from New Zealand has not only made it through to the Group Stage but done so by winning all their three Qualifiers.

The last of those wins, against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, was especially sweet given the IPL team was the overwhelming favourite among the four.

The five-wicket win was scripted by the McCullum brothers. While Nathan, opening the bowling, set the platform by picking up two early wickets – including that of danger-man Shikhar Dhawan – Brendon wove the magic of his willow with an unbeaten 67 and wiped off the 144-run target.

The Man of the Match was awarded to the elder brother, Nathan, for his bowling figures of 2 for 23 in four overs. In a post-match conversation with clt20.com, he spoke about the team’s ploy of opening the bowling with his off-breaks and how it worked to get the in-form Dhawan cheaply.

Three wins in a row – how does that feel?

It’s fantastic. The boys have worked hard leading up to the tournament and it’s pleasing for us to not only come in with three consecutive wins but also playing some very good cricket along the way. We are on a roll, we’re playing with confidence and winning but we would still like to improve and keep putting a good show. We will start afresh now like it’s a new tournament and it’s up to us to reset the buttons and carry on from here.

Is opening the bowling the role that the team is looking for you throughout the tournament?

I guess so; yes and no actually. I have been doing that quite a bit at domestic and international level and that’s an option that we have got. We’ve also got other guys who can play a similar role when needed.

Was it also a ploy to ruffle up Shikhar Dhawan, like you eventually did?

That was the ploy but it doesn’t always work. Today, however, it did and it was nice to get two wickets upfront.

How was it playing against your IPL team – SRH?

It was quite a funny feeling just arriving at the ground today when both the teams were at the back watching the first game. I know everyone around in the SRH team and the coaching staff was right there. It was kind of a surreal feeling. But all the same I had a job to do and come up against them. It was pleasing to perform and go out with a win as well.

Being a spinner yourself, what advice would you give to your batsmen on playing spin bowling in India?

The wickets can deteriorate and turn a lot more, so you have to be cautious of how you go about things. Probably the most important thing to keep in mind when playing spin is to commit to whatever you want to do, whether it is attack or defend.

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