Delhi Daredevils see value in utility-man Nagar

All-rounder Yogesh Nagar shares a distinction with Virender Sehwag — that of being the only cricketer to play for the Daredevils in all five seasons of the IPL.

Written by G.S. Vivek | New Delhi | Published: April 20, 2012 2:08 am

All-rounder Yogesh Nagar shares a distinction with Virender Sehwag — that of being the only cricketer to play for the Daredevils in all five seasons of the Indian Premier League. Nagar is also an exception in the side. He hasn’t worn an India cap at any level. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem has represented the India Under-19 side,while Unmukt Chand is yet to play a game this season after leading the junior side to victory over Australia in a quadrangular one-day series.

However,Nagar’s utility value — he is an off-spinner,a brilliant fielder,and also has the ability to hit sixes — has meant that he has taken the place of a few bigger names in the playing XI. Daredevils paid $700,000 for Y Venugopala Rao,the former India batsman,who has played just three games While Nagar has featured in all five of Delhi’s games this season.

Nagar’s statistics in the IPL are nothing remarkable,but his value can not always be determined in terms of numbers. In 17 IPL games,he has made just 148 runs at an average of 14.8 and a highest score of 23 off 15 achieved on Thursday against Deccan Chargers. But Nagar knows that he will be judged by the value of his cameos,like the 48-run partnership along with centurion Kevin Pietersen,rather than the sum total of his numbers.

“I am slotted at No.6 in the line-up,and sometimes even below,so whenever my turn comes,its 30 required off 10 balls or so. So,there is no point in looking at the number of runs I have scored. I have contributed in hitting sixes or playing cameos when the team needed it the most. Viru bhai (Virender Sehwag) knows that and has allowed me to enjoy my game,” Nagar told The Indian Express on the eve of the game against Pune Warriors India.

Before the start of the season,Nagar wondered if he would make the cut in a star-studded team,including Kevin Pietersen,Ross Taylor and Mahela Jayawardene.

Fielding prowess

But Sehwag reposed faith in the youngster. “I know that with such a strong line-up,I may not even get to bat in most matches. But I want to make my chances count just like I did during the game against Deccan Chargers,” Nagar said. The all-rounder’s strongest suit,however,could well be his fielding within the circle. Nagar has a copy of the photograph of him diving in from mid-off to pull off a brilliant catch to dismiss Sanath Jayasuriya. It is one of his proudest moments on the field,one which highlights why this local player is highly rated in the Daredevils camp.

“If I don’t get my name on the score sheet because of my batting or bowling,I can also do so with my fielding (run outs) and catches,” Nagar added.

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