Rising Pune Supergiant’s Imran Tahir set for IPL grudge tie vs Delhi Daredevils | ipl 2017 | Hindustan Times
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Rising Pune Supergiant’s Imran Tahir set for IPL grudge tie vs Delhi Daredevils

After being released by Delhi Daredevils in December last year, Imran Tahir has come back with a bang to be the joint-highest wicket-taker of the Indian Premier League and Rising Pune Supergiant’s biggest bowling asset this season.

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 11, 2017 10:08 IST
Imran Tahir of Rising Pune Supergiants celebrates the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha of Kings XI Punjab during their 2017 Indian Premier League at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on April 8.
Imran Tahir of Rising Pune Supergiants celebrates the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha of Kings XI Punjab during their 2017 Indian Premier League at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on April 8. (BCCI)

Over the last two seasons, Imran Tahir had been an impressive performer for the Delhi Daredevils with 20 wickets to his name, with 15 out of them coming in 2015. It thus seemed a bit harsh when he was released along with five others in December last year but with none of the franchisees willing to rope in his services at the auction, Tahir probably saw the writing on the wall.

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An injury to Australian Mitchell Marsh however paved the way for him to be a part of the IPL fold this season. As the 38-year-old gets ready to face his former team, he’s is the joint-highest wicket-taker this season with five wickets in two games for Rising Pune Supergiant.

“I was sad when the auction happened and the last two years… I’ve been performing. I’m not saying that, the stats say that. But as a cricketer, life goes on for me,” he said at a media interaction here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, on Monday.

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“Before I arrived here I was trying to improve my fitness for the Champions Trophy and that was my intention. I didn’t want to come here at all.

“But then, I’m grateful to Rising Pune Supergiant that they gave me an opportunity. I can’t be more serious than that I left my family and came here. It would be wrong to say that I’m here to prove something but I wanted to be here in the challenge to see where I am if I wasn’t picked for the auction then what the reason was.”

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Imran Tahir, who tops the ICC rankings list in the ODI and T20 formats, had picked up three wickets in the first match against Mumbai Indians to hand Rising Pune Supergiant their first victory at home.

“I think playing in South Africa and international matches, I never really had spinning tracks, so that helps, really… I took learning from there and came here… I really hope the ball turns around a bit here,” Tahir added.

In comparison with their power-packed batting unit, bowling has been a bit of a concern for the hosts though. While Ashok Dinda set a tournament record getting hammered 30 runs off the last over of the Mumbai Indians’ innings, in the second match against Kings XI, none of the bowlers succeeded in building pressure on the opposition as they chased down 163 with an over to spare.

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Imran Tahir, however, defended his teammates stating that it would be too early to be critical of death-over bowling and the consistency factor. He also lauded Adam Zampa, who had a terrific season last year but said he wouldn’t compete with the youngster for a spot in the team.

“He’s a great bowler and playing for Australia, it’s not easy,” he said. “I play in my own way and I don’t look into that I’m playing with Zampa and I need to do better than him. I think as long as we both play the role we’ve been given for the team, we’re pretty much on the happy side and most probably winning side.”