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Pawan Negi wants to prove his IPL worth at Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pawan Negi, who failed miserably for Delhi Daredevils last season, is not bothered by price tags or big names, only hopes to improve his game playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2017.

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 04, 2017 11:22 IST
Sean Sequeira
Sean Sequeira
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
pawan negi,Indian premier league,IPL 2017
Pawan Negi (L) and Naman Ojha celebrate a wicket during the IPL Twenty20 first playoff match between Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders in Pune on May 22, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

Not to be undone by his own poor form last season, Pawan Negi is looking ahead with optimism as he prepares for the first game of the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL). (IPL full coverage)

After being picked up by Delhi Daredevils for a whopping Rs 8.5 crore, the all-rounder came back with poor returns as managed only 57 runs and a single wicket in eight matches.

Pawan Negi was released by the Delhi franchise before the end of the season after the performances did not merit the hefty price tag paid to acquire his services.

But fast forward a year and last season’s runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) picked up the 24 year old Pawan Negi in the 2017 auction as they were looking for a bowling all-rounder.

The slow left-arm orthodox bowler from Delhi now finds himself in illustrious company and is determined to do his best come match day

“I did not have a very good IPL last year, but all players go through that phase,” Pawan Negi told reporters after a practice session at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday.

“After that, I worked really hard in practice, and tried to correct my weaknesses. Not once did not performing well make me feel low. The only thought I had in mind was to keep working hard.”

Pawan Negi reacts during a Champions League T20 between the Perth Scorchers (Australia) and Delhi Daredevils (India) at Newlands Cricket Stadium in Cape Town on October 21, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

Any team that I play for, I want to do well; the price tag hardly matters. I did not feel any extra pressure because of it,” he said.

Since joining the Royal Challengers Bangalore camp in Bangalore last week, Negi has worked under the wing of team head coach Daniel Vettori who had perfected his skill with the ball to great effect.

Negi has found solace in learning the craft from his new mentor.

“He (Vettori ) has been my idol for a long time. Being a left-arm spinner, he is the best person to help me. He has spoken to me about things like how to grip the ball, and what lines to bowl,” Negi said.

Virat Kohli, the motivator

RCB stalwarts Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers may be ruled out of the season opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday but have joined the team for morale support.

Reportedly, the two top notch batsmen were with the squad at the stadium on Monday, and Pawan Negi has used their presence as motivation to work harder.

“It is wonderful having him ([Kohli) around. He isn’t playing, yet he is with us throughout. He is speaking to each player individually, motivating us. It lifts the spirit of the whole team,” Pawan Negi said.

The Delhi-born cricketer reported that he was working on his mentality more than anything else and sharing the dressing room with contemporary greats was not adding to the pressure, only helping relive it.

“The most that I have improved is in the mental aspect. I have received only positive vibes here. There is no pressure on me that I am playing for such a big team. If I get a chance, I will do well,” he said.

First Published: Apr 04, 2017 11:15 IST