Cricket

‘Hope things will improve for us'

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The Indian Premier League (IPL), now into its fifth edition, can only get better and more competitive due to many reasons, feels Deccan Chargers captain Kumar Sangakkara.

In an exclusive chat with The Hindu on Saturday, Sangakkara said unpredictability was what made this game so exciting.

“Look at what happened to Royal Challengers Bangalore. I mean 40-odd runs from two overs — it seemed to be all over for CSK before Albie (Morkel) changed it all in the penultimate over. Or take our own game against Mumbai Indians,” said the exciting 34-year-old stroke-maker from Sri Lanka.

“Not many would have given us a chance to defend such a small total against Mumbai. And we did fight back and were in a good position before Rohit Sharma snatched it away. This is what makes IPL such a different proposition and such a big hit,” said Sangakkara.

The Chargers captain defended his move to give the last over to Aussie Daniel Christian in that exciting match against Mumbai Indians. “I have no regrets. Daniel has proved himself for both Chargers and Australia. It was a choice between Anand Rajan and Daniel and I preferred the latter because of his experience. Unfortunately, the move did not pay off. But that is cricket,” he said.

“T20 is all about thinking quickly and correctly in high pressure situations. It is not enough if you have skills — what is more important is how well you perform on a given day,” said Sangakkara.

“I don't think there is any reason to complain against the IPL schedule which is well set. Though, not everything can be perfect. If you are a good cricketer, it should not be a problem to be good in all three formats,” he said.

“The players understand what is expected from them. They enjoy playing in the IPL. The glitz, glamour, financial rewards everything is there in the IPL. It is for the players to play as well as they can. I think every year, better cricket is being played in the IPL,” said the Sri Lankan.

Looking ahead, Sangakkara said too much need not be read into two early losses for Chargers in this edition.

“I believe that Shikhar Dhawan is one of the most talented players in India right now. We do have match-winners,” he said. “No doubt, we miss Ishant Sharma and (Pragyan) Ojha who is now playing for Mumbai Indians.”

Self-belief the key

“I think self-belief is the key to success at any level. Stay strong, have faith in yourself and give your best.

“Even if you look at the last edition when we finished seventh, the final position may not reflect how close some of the games were — which we could have won and entered the knockout phase,” he said.

When asked if the pressure of leading in IPL was different from other formats he said: “I think it is the same in any format. It all depends on how well the players create pressure on the rivals, or respond to it. I am enjoying my captaincy and hope things will improve for the Chargers,” said a smiling Sangakkara.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 8:53:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/hope-things-will-improve-for-us/article3315450.ece

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