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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014
Daredevils pinning hopes on spinners
Khurram Habib, Hindustan Times
Jaipur, May 06, 2013
First Published: 23:40 IST(6/5/2013)
Last Updated: 01:43 IST(7/5/2013)

One of the things Pune Warriors coach Allan Donald mentioned about this T20 league the other day was how bowlers had become smart and skillful.

On Monday, Mushtaq Ahmad pressed home the same point with an emphasis on spin bowling. “Nowadays, the spinners have started to use a lot of variations. There is the doosra, carrom ball, etc. The fact that they are doing well in this league shows the importance of spin bowling,” said the former Pakistan leggie, now with a flowing salt and pepper beard.

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Task cut out
When his side, the Delhi Daredevils, languishing at the second-last spot on the table, face hosts Rajasthan Royals, their task will be cut out. Their only impressive bowler has been Shahbaz Nadeem, a Jharkhand left-arm spinner, who has attributed his success to Mushtaq.

Given how the bowlers have fared, Donald and Mushtaq would rather bowl than allow their wards to do so. Donald actually has his eyes on a T20 league for veterans.

On a pitch, which saw 178 getting chased quite easily on Sunday night, it’ll be a hard task for the bowlers.

Both Mushtaq and Delhi’s director of cricket, TA Sekar, were seen giving a lot of inputs to the bowlers. Mushtaq praised Nadeem and Johan Botha and it seems spin will be the key in Tuesday’s evening game. Rajasthan are already opening with Ajit Chandila though he was a bit expensive against Pune.

Home advantage
“A home pitch and crowd always help,” said Mushtaq, pointing to the reasons

for Rajasthan’s unbeaten record at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. For him though, Raipur, a new home venue, has been more successful than the Ferozshah Kotla despite no familiarity.

His only chance of breaching Rajasthan’s fortress is the stroke players finding form.


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