Happy With The Way I played Steyn
How was the feeling when you stepped on the field?
It felt great to be back playing in the IPL again, but it (this match) was the toughest moment of my career. I am satisfied with the way it went off in the middle.
But you have been in these situations before….
True, but I had not been out of cricket for so long. I hadn’t picked up a cricket bat for five months when the Pune Warriors offered to sign me up. I saw it as an opportunity and decided to take the gamble. I came here with zero confidence. So it was a very important knock for me as well as the team. I expect things to get better from here.
Would you say that this was a tougher comeback than the one you staged in Potchefstroom during India’s tour of South Africa in 2006?
I would say so because I was playing regular domestic cricket at that stage. Any batsman will tell you how important it is to have a good feel of the bat hitting the ball. Believe me, it is not easy to just walk out in the middle and face a quality bowler like Dale Steyn firing away at over 140kmph. I am particularly happy with the way I played Steyn.
Did you target that particular delivery from Amit Mishra?
Not really. As usual I read it as it came out of his hand and used my feet. The timing was perfect and it sailed over the boundary. It really felt good.
Your fans were dismayed when you missed two games after being signed up by Pune…
I joined the Pune Warriors on May 4, just a day before the Mumbai Indians match, so there was no chance of playing that one. I simply needed a couple of days to have a hit in the nets which I did in Mumbai as well as Mohali before joining the action.”
Have you set any targets for the remaining three matches?
I just want to play freely and score as many runs as possible to help the team finish as high as possible in the league table.
Any special plans for the KKR match on May 19?
I think much has been made about my equation with KKR. During my three seasons with KKR, I developed very strong emotional bonds with the franchise. True, we failed to produce the desired results and the franchise owners were justified in bringing in new players. Nothing wrong with that. Like many other former KKR players, I am still emotionally attached to them even though we have all moved on. It’s part of the game. I am hoping it will be a good contest (at the DY Patil Stadium).
Did you really feel after your first outing that you still ‘belonged’ (to IPL)?
Of course. The day I don’t feel that I no longer belong (at this level), I will bow out. And with no regrets.
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