Cricketer Harbhajan Singh's column Doosra
It was a commendable way to start our IPL campaign. Mumbai Indians played brilliantly to outclass Delhi Daredevils at their home ground. The star of our victory was slinging Lasith Malinga, who was in the opposition dressing room just a week back, for the World Cup final.
He was one of the most respected bowlers for the Indian dressing room.
Thankfully that night we negated him and didn’t give him too many wickets. My admiration apart, I was relieved that this time I was standing at long-on enjoying his carnage. That's the beauty of IPL. It’s a melting pot of different cricketing countries, where long time team mates face each other and arch rivals become teammates.
I am sure all batsmen in the world know what Lasith Malinga will bowl. He will bowl a lot of yorkers, slow or swinging, low full toss or right at the toe, mixed with slow bouncers. But the speed and accuracy at which he operates is amazing and not easy to deal with.
In a format like T20 where every ball is important, most teams decide to play safe and give him minimum wickets. That in itself is a huge contribution.
I found this game a good outing for myself as I had the challenge of bowling the first over to Virender Sehwag. He has played me so much in the nets that he can easily anticipate what I am going to bowl.
Anyway, Sehwag doesn't care who is bowling; all he sees is the ball and all he wants to do is to attack. Luckily, a perfect throw from Sachin Tendulkar ended his stay.
Once he was out of the way, we could create pressure on the Delhi Daredevils batting line-up that was a little short on experience. I think this Delhi team will rely a lot on Sehwag, and his wicket will be vital for the bowling side.
After giving 10 runs in the first over, I came back strongly to give only four runs for two wickets in the next two overs.
Despite the early wobble, Sachin Tendulkar’s experience was enough to take us home. We didn't have to sweat much for the required runs and the credit must go to the bowling unit for making it easy. I am sure the next game won’t be that easy.
Bangalore Royal Challengers are one of the stronger sides and we share a great rivalry with them. Both of us have a win under our belt and we would like to continue our good run. Playing in front of the Bangalore crowd is never easy as they rally behind their team, but again we have Tendulkar who will muster some support. PMG