Pawan Negi, Delhi’s left-arm spinner, was drafted by the Channai Super Kings at the IPL-7 auction. The former Daredevil can strangle opposition batsmen with his tight bowling and is also capable of hitting the ball a long way.
There is a possibility that IPL 7 could be played in South Africa. Negi, for that matter, isn’t bothered in the least as it won’t be the first time he will be playing there.
Two years ago, Negi had played for the Delhi Daredevils in the CL T20 held in South Africa. Though the pitches will support pace, Negi says he aims to learn enough to improve and be picked in CSK’s playing-eleven.
“The bowling is not different anywhere. Be it be India or South Africa, as a bowler, my task is to contain runs, especially in a T20 game, where you have to stick to basics. But mostly, I ensure that I do not offer width to players who like playing shots,” says the 21-year-old.
Asked about his strategy against foreign players, whom he faced for the first time in the previous editions of the IPL, Negi explains his methods.
“When I bowled to Shane Watson and Brad Hodge of Rajasthan Royals, I knew that I would have to bowl on the middle stump, as they feel a little awkward there. I can also change the angle of the delivery,” Negi says.
With a few months for the IPL to begin, Negi was seen practising at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Tuesday. Delhi’s senior squad is scheduled to take on Jammu and Kashmir in the first match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Thursday. After he had finished bowling in the nets, coach Sanjeev Sharma asked him to pad up. As he took his guard, skipper Gautam Gambhir asked him to play freely. Negi was soon tonking balls into the stands.
“I am an all-rounder. Usually, I bowl for long hours in the nets but once I am done, I pick up my bat and imagine if I had to play in a certain situation. At that juncture I will have to adapt and make sure the scoring-rate goes up,” says Negi who plays for Sonnet Club in the Delhi league.
Though immensely talented, Negi has been labelled as a short-format player. He got his first opportunity in First Class cricket in the Ranji trophy against Haryana and Tamil Nadu in the 2011-2012 season. He had picked up two wickets and hasn’t been recalled to the senior squad since, though he has played the Vijay Hazare and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Last year, he was a part of the the Vijay Hazare Trophy winning-team. “Its not that I don’t think about making a comeback to the Ranji squad but I will have to wait for the right opportunity,” Negi says. “I am happy that Vijay Hazare is just been timed perfectly before the IPL as you get to bowl with the white kookaburra ball. It will really help us get use to it. More importantly I will get to play against India’s best domestic players, who will also be competing in various IPL teams later. People ask me that I should be thinking how to bowl against the foreign players but I believe that the bulk of cricketers in the IPL teams would be the domestic ones. It really makes a big difference,” Negi says.
Having picked Negi, CSK could actually use him in tandem with Ravindra Jadeja as both have similar profiles. “I am not thinking that far. If that happens it will be a great learning curve for me and who knows, some good performances might change my luck,” Negi laughs.