Relishing the challenges of Twenty20 cricket ahead of IPL-8, Delhi Daredevils spinner Imran Tahir believes that the limited-overs game may be hard on the bowlers but it helps them perfect their craft.
The South African leg-spinner, who joined Daredevils in the 2014 season, wants to make an impact as a valuable spinner for his team.
“It’s hard, T20 cricket and also the ODIs where five fielders are inside the inner circle. But spinners play a key role in T20. They have a lot to give in the limited-overs game and it makes them better bowlers. The modern-day game helps us perfect our cricket more than what it was before,” Tahir said in an open session organised by Delhi Daredevils.
“Batsmen attack you more in T20 cricket, so there are more chances for a bowler and also there are more challenges, which we like. You need to go there with a big heart and that’s all that matters,” he added.
The Pakistan-born player, who has represented South Africa in 16 Tests and 38 ODIs, is ready to adapt to ‘changing times’ as a spinner.
“The art of spin is very much alive and you see that in Test cricket. But I still think even in Test cricket you cannot be a classical spinner, say what you were 20 years ago. Cricket has obviously changed.
“It’s not that you give the flight and batsmen are going to defend. You flight the ball and it goes for a six. Your pace is important for all the formats. For me bowling now is harder than what it was called ‘classical spin’,” he said.
Tahir acknowledges the quality of Indian batsmen against spin bowling and stresses the role of variety in a spinners life.
“There are a lot of left-arm spinners from India who have had a lot success, so for me all the spinners have a big role to play in cricket. If you don’t have variety then you are not going to survive, especially playing in India. The Indian players are so good against spin, so you have to have variations as a spinner,” he said.
Having plied his craft all around the world in different T20 leagues and formats, Tahir is comfortable switching jerseys to play good cricket.
“I have played cricket all over the world, be it in South Africa, India or Pakistan. I don’t think it makes much of a difference, you just need to adjust with the conditions quickly. Just back yourself and it all falls into place,” he said.
Delhi, who finished last in the previous edition, are hoping for a turnaround and Tahir is upbeat about the current season.
“It’s easy to have people coming at you when you are down, But we as a team need to just come back strongly and hope that we do the right things. We just put all our hard work, the Indian guys coming from domestic season and we putting our weight behind, in this season.
“We gelling well as a team and hoping for a good season.
No one can guarantee success in IPL, so we are just working hard and hoping we deliver on the day,” he said.
T20 cricket may be an easy format to hide your limitations but Tahir thinks otherwise.
“If I want to hide myself from any cricket, then I am not going to play this game. I’d rather be upfront losing with a big heart and I’ll be happy at the end of the day and sleep well,” he signed off.
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