Chennai Super Kings spinner Imran Tahir credited skipper MS Dhoni for his match-winning performance against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday. Tahir finished with figures of 4/27 in four overs and restricted KKR to 161/7 in 20 overs, despite Chris Lynn hammering 82 runs in 51 balls.
Speaking to reporters after the match, the leggie said, “I just bowled according to the captain’s instructions. It’s always beneficial taking advice from Dhoni. He’s helping me a lot. It’s an absolute pleasure and the credit goes to him.”
He added: “There are few things which he tells me like where I need to bowl, which area and where the guy is going to hit. It’s working and I’m just loving it. We are playing good cricket. We respect each other and enjoy each other’s success.”
The right-armer added that Dhoni keeps on telling him which area batsman is trying to target. “Those were small things. He tells me like this guy is trying to hit in this area so I bowl accordingly. I am an attacking spinner and want to take wickets and he allows me to bowl that way,” he said.
Tahir dismissed Lynn and the dangerous Andre Russell in the same over during the match. Speaking on Russell’s dismissal, he said: “I could have bowled two more dot balls to him or one run to him. But I wanted to take the challenge and wanted to get him out as simple as that. He hit me for four and a six which was fine. In the end, I got his wicket which was very important for the team more than personal achievement. He’s such a good player especially at the death so it’s a pleasure to get him out.”
The 40-year-old, who was not given a central contract by Cricket South Africa, further addressd his future. “I decided not to play after the World Cup, purely to give opportunity to youngsters. I don’t want to retire I love the game and have a lot of respect and passion for the game.”
“It’s not that I’m not given contract but more to give opportunity to the youngsters. I’m grateful to CSA they are the one who gave me the opportunity and I’m here today,” he added.
Speaking on the upcoming World Cup tournament, the bowler said: “In this league, you play against the top players in the world. I’m not going to get them if I am bowling at the nets. I am really grateful to IPL and CSA to give me the opportunity.”