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Interview

Anand Subramaniam in Delhi

I want Sachin to play forever: Coulter-Nile

MI bowler hopes to win CLT20 for Little Master

The Mumbai Indians made a mockery of all the talk that preceded their game against the Perth Scorchers. Despite all the odds, it was a clinical performance by the Rohit Sharma-led side as they clinched a comprehensive six-wicket victory over the Scorchers to effectively cancel the Otago Volts out from the semi-finals equation and move forward in the tournament.

MI’s bowlers came good to start with, while Dwayne Smith and Rohit Sharma completed the run-chase with panache. Amidst all the excitement of making the semi-finals, a 25-year-old Australian fast bowler was cherishing every moment. There was elation, jubilation and a quiet sense of achievement for Nathan Coulter-Nile, one of Mumbai Indians’ latest recruits.

In this free-flowing chat with clt20.com Coulter-Nile talks about MI’s pleasing win, about a franchise that has welcomed him with open arms and about the great Sachin Tendulkar, who is more than willing to give an insight about the gentleman’s game. 

Excerpts from his interview:

After a lot of number crunching, Mumbai Indians are finally in the semi-finals. How satisfying a win is this?

It was an unbelievable win. It is a good feeling to have a win and qualify for the semi-finals. To be honest with you, I was not too sure about that run-chase. It was a tough run-chase and the boys did it quite easily. Unbelievable knock by Rohit Sharma and Dwayne Smith at the start of the innings, which helped us cross the line. It is business time now and things get serious from here. It will be a massive game to follow and you got be the best to win and we are looking forward to that challenge.

What was the vibe in the dugout during that run-chase?

The vibe inside the dugout was pretty positive and confident, because we have a lot of strikers of the ball in that batting line-up. And when Ambati Rayudu hit a six to finish the game, we all erupted and there was a lot of joy. Outstanding effort by the team. I am totally elated.

Sachin Tendulkar walked back to the pavilion in the second over. Were there early jitters that time?

When you lose a man like Sachin Tendulkar early in the innings, you do get a bit tense. But then such is the power of our batting that if one guy is out, you always have someone who can keep it going. For example, if you have Glenn Maxwell getting out, you have Keiron Pollard walking in, and after that you have more to follow. Dinesh Karthik did not even bat today and we were pretty confident sitting back in the shed.

And what about Rohit Sharma’s innings?

Rohit Sharma is probably one of the best players in the world. I am not looking forward to bowling to him the next one day international series, but if he keeps his form up for the next two matches, I would be happy.

On a personal front, you would be happy picking up three wickets giving away just nineteen in four overs

Yes, definitely. This type of wicket did not suit pace bowlers, so I just tried to hit the right areas and tried to bowl stump to stump and we restricted well enough for us to chase. It was a joy to get three and end up on the winning side.

Did you help MI strategise against the Scorchers?

I did give them a few pointers, but I did not give them much (chuckles). I just told them where their players like to hit and in what areas they are vulnerable. T20 is a pretty natural game, so you just got to hit the areas and the key spots.

It is your first year with the Mumbai Indians. How does it feel to be a part of the outfit?

The Mumbai Indians have been very good. As soon as I got here, they were very welcoming and receptive and I have got everything that I wanted. I feel I have grown as a cricketer and I have to thank the Mumbai Indians for the opportunity. Without them I would not have had the chance to play in India and play for Australia following this tournament. This might just push my career along.

You were a part of the Perth Scorchers and now the Mumbai Indians. In such a crunch situation, which dugout would you have preferred to be in?

(Laughs)That is a tough one. I love winning. Mumbai Indians have an unbelievable squad and the Perth Scorchers are missing a lot of players. It gets tough to perform when you lose out on key international players and expect them to perform in a big tournament like this.

Is this the best learning curve for you ahead of the ODI series against India?

Absolutely. It is good to get used to the conditions here and bowl to the few guys who are in the Indian side who will be playing the ODI series. I am looking to use this experience and bowl well.

How is it bowling to Sachin Tendulkar in the nets?

I am scared to bowl to Sachin in the nets because he absolutely whacks them. It is not something that I would have imagined doing in my life. I was talking to my partner last night and she said that five to six years ago, you were playing great cricket and bowling to the players back in Australia and now you are bowling to Sachin Tendulkar in the nets. It has been fantastic and I never really felt I would be here.

What kind of advice does Tendulkar give you?

Sachin is someone who believes in backing one’s own ability. He has got all the talent in the world and whenever I speak to him he always gives insights as to where I should bowl and what the batsmen would be trying to look at while bowling to them. He gives an insight into what the batsmen would be thinking about when I am running up to bowl at them, which is something I really appreciate.

Looks like you guys do not want Sachin to retire at all

(Smiles) I would want to see him play forever, but unfortunately all good things have to come to an end and hopefully we can get the trophy for him and give him a perfect send off.

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