Mushtaq Ahmed bridging 'language barrier' for Daredevils
Former Pakistan legspinner and England's bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed, in his role as Delhi Daredevils' bowling consultant, sees himself as a go-between for coach Eric Simons and the local players. "Coaching is all about man-management. I believe my job is to be a bridge between the head coach and the players," he told PTI. "There are a lot of players who have a language barrier. Even I faced it during my early playing days. I would ideally like to communicate to the younger boys what Eric thinks." Kevin Pietersen, who will miss Daredevils' entire 2013 campaign due to a knee injury, was very accommodating when he visited the team, Mushtaq said. "KP is a team player. His commitment is fantastic. He came for two days and even with an injured leg gave throwdowns to that little kid [Unmukt Chand]."
'Fickle nature of fans' not new to Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja has been the source of much internet humour all through his bid to secure a place in the Indian team. He debuted for India in ODIs in 2009, but had his place in the side questioned and parodied several times. He has since played 65 ODIs and recently debuted successfully in Test cricket. Now, Jadeja does not take all the jibes too seriously - as demonstrated by the bit of fun he had with his Chennai Super Kings team-mates over Twitter earlier this week - but it wasn't always that way. Speaking to the Times of India, Jadeja said: "I realise the fickle nature of success and that of the fans. Failure is bound to make me the butt of ridicule, as I have seen in the past. [But] it was so disheartening after I was dropped, and people poked fun at me on the internet." He does not expect to be a permanent member of the Test side just yet, Jadeja said: "Though I did pretty well in the series against Australia, I don't think I have cemented my place in the team. India are playing most Tests away from the subcontinent now and I'm not sure whether I will be part of the playing XI."
Chetan Chauhan denied entry into Kotla
The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has seen a number of its power battles being fought in public. Chetan Chauhan, the former Indian opener, who is the chairman of the ground and pitch committee at the DDCA, suffered a rude jolt when he was stopped from entering the pitch at the Ferozshah Kotla by an IPL organiser. According to the DNA newspaper, Peter Griffiths of IMG, the company that is the organising backbone of the IPL, reportedly told Chauhan that he had been issued accreditation to all areas except the playing area ahead of Friday evening's match between Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Chauhan was further incensed when a couple of high-ranking Daredevils officials asked him to clarify the issue with IPL. "I run the show here, not you," the paper quoted Chauhan as saying.
Bat deep, bat hard
Brendon McCullum, the aggressive New Zealand and Kolkata Knight Riders batsman, feels batting in Twenty20 cricket is now a much more high-risk game. According to McCullum, whose 158 in the IPL's first ever match in Bangalore in 2008 remains the highest score in the tournament, said that the big difference now is destructive batsmen like Chris Gayle and himself have to bat longer without stepping off the run-rate pedal. "The key today is to bat for longer periods of time with a high level of risk and play aggressively at the same time," McCullum told Hindustan Times. Another change, McCullum has observed in the six years of IPL, was franchises have started finding the right "mix" of players they can utilise in different playing conditions to maximise the winning potential.