Home Sport Sports. games. Dew hasn't been much of a factor so far: Zaheer

Sports. games. Dew hasn’t been much of a factor so far: Zaheer

Sports. games. IPL 2020 Mumbai Indians have one win and one defeat in two matches so far © BCCI Even as teams have preferred to chase mostly so far in the ongoing Indian Premier League, despite results largely favouring the teams batting first, Zaheer Khan believes dew hasn’t been much of a factor yet. And even as he hasn’t discounted the possibility of dew playing a part in some of the games going forward, he doesn’t believe it will be much of a challenge for the bowlers, who are used to practising for it and playing a lot of day-night games. “So far in the tournament, dew has not been as much of a factor because the matches have been starting early,” Zaheer said on Sunday (September 27). “That has been working well for the bowlers. In a few games, you might see dew coming in, for which the bowlers are now used to understand what are the things and how to manage that. You see that in practice as well with some of the bowlers using some water on the seam, which makes it slippery, and adjust accordingly. These are the usual practices in preparation to tackle the situation when there is heavy dew.” Mumbai Indians have found themselves batting first in both their games so far in the tournament – with contrasting results. While they figured out in Abu Dhabi against Chennai Super Kings that the conditions got easier for batting in the second innings, it was quite the opposite against Kolkata Knight Riders at the same venue in their second game. A good reason for Mumbai Indians also comfortably defending their 195-run total against KKR was some disciplined bowling by their pace trio of Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and James Pattinson, who bowled the tough overs and kept picking critical wickets. However, their death bowling so far has been tested only once – on the opening night of the tournament – where they failed to defend 42 off the last four overs against CSK. In the game against KKR, the task was to defend more than double that score in the same number of balls and succeeded. Zaheer is confident that Mumbai Indians are well placed to deal with the challenges as and when they come in the games ahead. “We have a very experienced bunch of pacers and that is something that is going to work in our advantage,” Mumbai Indians’ Director of Cricket Operations said. “Boult has played so many international matches, in so many different conditions. That experience matters a lot. He is a world class bowler, so is Pattinson. Bumrah has been phenomenal in death overs and really carries the weight of the back end of the innings on his shoulders. That provides great strength. “As far as death bowling is concerned, we have very good plans for different opposition and different players. It is about going out there and having that freedom of expression. You have to go with the game and be proactive with that. When you see names that we were discussing, it becomes easier because you know that these are experienced campaigners and have the ability to absorb the pressure in the middle and be proactive.” In the one win and one defeat so far, Mumbai Indians’ spinners are yet to make a telling impact. But Zaheer isn’t sweating about it yet. “It is still early in the tournament. It has only been two games and things are still coming together. As a bowling unit, we have been doing a fantastic job. In this format, you see the batters try to dominate the bowlers and you have to stay on top of the game. That is something you’ve seen glimpses from our spinners as well in the last game and that is something you will see from us going forward in the tournament. Rahul Chahar is a fantastic spinner and had a brilliant season last year and he is looking in good form. As far as matches are concerned, it is a matter of time before things fall in place.” One of the critical aspects missing in Mumbai Indians’ conventional plans is the absence of Hardik Pandya as a bowling option, who is yet to be fully fit to bowl. Zaheer believes it is important that the all-rounder is given ample time to recover fully. “We are all expecting him to bowl [some time later in the tournament],” he said. “He is the kind of guy who really changes the balance of the side when he is bowling and he understands that. At the same time, he also has to look after his body. That is a conversation we are having, in consultation with the physios. “We are looking forward for him to bowl. He is very keen and wanting to bowl. You just have to wait, be patient and listen to his body. In the end, for any player, injury plays a huge role. We are happy that he is there as a batter and contributing with full fitness. Hopefully, you will see him bowl soon.” © Cricbuzz RELATED STORIES
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