Pravin Tambe continues to baffle all

May 07, 2014 01:36 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 06:48 pm IST - Ahmedabad

Pravin Tambe continues to baffle batsmen with his wrist-spin bowling in the IPL, perhaps his own fellow teammates and a fan following that’s increasing by the day.

His hat-trick on Monday - off a wide ball and two legal deliveries and Shane Watson’s three-wicket haul - truly rocked Kolkata Knight Rider’s boat after a cruising 121 start from Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir. The KKR opening pair’s splendid undertaking was the 100th century-plus start in the IPL; the eighth in the ongoing season. While Uthappa, Gambhir and KKR would have found the stunning defeat hard to stomach after being in control of the proceedings, Tambe turned out to be the surprise packet, covered himself with glory and contributed to his team’s fifth win.

Tambe’s accuracy allied with some craft in the last four matches of the IPL - two in Abu Dhabi and Feroz Shah Kotla and Motera - has vaulted the Royal Blues to the third position in the points at the halfway stage of the competition.

He was far less successful in terms of taking wickets in the first three matches of the UAE leg of the tournament; He bowled 12 overs conceded 76 runs for a solitary wicket, but then he struck a purple patch against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the shortened match in Abu Dhabi. After this particular effort, he has been virtually unstoppable even winning the Purple Cap for the first time in the league. His tally after the match against KKR on Monday climbed to a dozen, as much as Chennai Super King’s Mohit Sharma.

Someone like Abey Kuruvilla, former India seamer, chairman of the BCCI junior national selection committee and most importantly, who has been following Tambe’s leg-spin for 15 years, is not surprised. “I know him from the days of Orient Shipping; he’s now with DY Patil Sports Academy. He’s a very hard working cricketer, bowls to his strength and with confidence. He’s not at all affected by fear of failure,’’ said Kuruvilla.

When asked why Tambe is not as successful in the traditional first-class games, Kuruvilla felt that he (Tambe) is not allowed to bowl the way he wants. “He has been very successful in club and office games in Mumbai. Maybe he needs to bowl long spells. Another reason is that batsmen can wait in the longer format of the game. But Tambe is not weighed down by the reputation of the batsmen; he works hard and gives his best shot in every match whatever might be the situation.’’

Tambe has provided proof of possessing superb wrist-spin skills on more than a handful of occasions and carved a niche for himself.

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