Abu Dhabi: Seasoned South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir on Thursday said that the MI Emirates will take a lot of heart from the daredevil performance the team displayed against the Gulf Giants on Wednesday, and will take the confidence forward into the remaining two games of the ILT20 tournament.
“If you look at the points table, yes these are very crucial two games ahead of us. But personally for me and the team, each game is equally important. On the way, we have had a few good games and suffered a few losses. Our preparation remains the same, we won’t promise the result but all I can say is that we have gained a lot of confidence after our last match and also understood that we have the firepower of bouncing back from any situation,” he said.
Placed third in the ILT20 points table, MI Emirates will take on Abu Dhabi Knight Riders at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday before locking horns with the Dubai Capitals on Sunday in Dubai.
The MI Emirates put up a spirited performance at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday to drag the Giants’ chase of 139 to the final ball of the match, thanks to the efforts of the bowling group, led by Trent Boult, Dwayne Bravo and Tahir.
“Our bowling department has been remarkable right from the first game. In the last match, our bowlers had to put in extra effort as the ball was wet due to dew, but the manner in which the boys fought back speaks volumes on the confidence of the bowling group,” he said.
“Belief is necessary. We are lucky to have a few seasoned campaigners in the bowling group, who set the tone in every game. The ball was swinging a bit yesterday, and they showed their quality by hitting the right lengths and brought the match down to the last over,” the leggie said.
The Young Guns
Sharing his personal tale of picking variations of leg-spin after spending 13 years on the field, the 43-year-old said he’s happy that the youngsters in modern-day cricket don’t have to wait for such long.
“It’s our duty as seniors to motivate the youngsters, which I lacked during my initial days as a cricketer. MI Emirates has given a very good opportunity for the youngsters to share the dressing room with the experienced guys. It took me 13 years to learn another variation of leg spin bowling, but I’m happy that the youngsters today won’t have to wait for so long,” he said.
The India factor
On his experiences of playing in Indian conditions, Tahir said it is the passion for the sport in the country that a cricketer doesn’t need much exposure to shine in the country.
“If you are a cricketer, you don’t need exposure of playing in India. The love and support of fans and the passion for cricket in India is unmatched. For me, it has been an amazing experience of playing the world’s biggest league for seven years. It’s an honour for me,” he said.
“It’s not that all pitches in India are spin-friendly, especially if I speak about the pitches used in IPL, so it’s a good challenge of bowling in batting-friendly conditions,” he further said.