Imran Tahir was happy that he could execute skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s plans during CSK’s five-wicket win over KKR in an IPL encounter on Sunday. Tahir with figures of 4 for 27 was one of the architects of CSK’s victory on the day. “I just bowled according to the captain’s instructions. It’s always beneficial taking advice from Dhoni. He’s helping me a lot. It’s an absolute pleasure and the credit goes to him,” Man-of-the-match Tahir told reporters at the post-match news conference.
Tahir said that Dhoni specifically pointed out areas where he was asked to bowl. “There are few things which he tells me like where I need to bowl, which area and where the guy is going to hit. It’s working and I’m just loving it. We are playing good cricket. We respect each other and enjoy each other’s success,” Tahir who is the joint leading wicket-taker with Kagiso Rabada with 13 to his tally said.
What works for Tahir is the fact that Dhoni can pre-empt where a batsman is trying to hit. “Those were small things. He tells me like this guy is trying to hit in this area so I bowl accordingly. I am an attacking spinner and want to take wickets and he allows me to bowl that way,” Tahir said of Dhoni.
Russell started of in his usual explosive way hitting the leg-spinner for a boundary and six but he bounced back to dismiss the big-hitting Jamaican for the first time under 40 in seven matches.
“I could have bowled two more dot balls to him or one run to him. But I wanted to take the challenge and wanted to get him out as simple as that. He hit me for four and a six which was fine. In the end, I got his wicket which was very important for the team more than personal achievement. He’s such a good player especially at the death so it’s a pleasure to get him out.”
The 40-year-old was among three players who were not awarded a central contract by Cricket South Africa for the 2019-20 season.
“I decided not to play after the World Cup, purely to give an opportunity to youngsters. I don’t want to retire I love the game and have a lot of respect and passion for the game.
“It’s not that I’m not given contract but more to give the opportunity to the youngsters. I’m grateful to CSA they are the one who gave me the opportunity and I’m here today,” Tahir who is set to retire from ODIs after the World Cup said.
He further said his IPL exposure would help him immensely in the World Cup. “In this league, you play against the top players in the world. I’m not going to get them if I am bowling at the nets. I am really grateful to IPL and CSA to give me the opportunity.”
On his unique celebration to run in the field after taking a wicket, he said: “It’s just pure passion. I really don’t know what I do. It’s just pure passion that I’ve for the game and I just go and express that.”
“Playing for CSK, one of the best franchises in the world, I’ve to show people how much I love and respect this team,” he signed off.
(With PTI Inputs)