Death bowling in focus for RCB
Following Chennai Super Kings dramatic heist against Royal Challengers Bangalore, in which they knocked off the 84 runs they required off the final seven overs to win by four wickets, Royal Challengers' death-bowling skills has come into sharp focus. In that game, RP Singh was unable to defend 16 off the final over, crucially bowling a no-ball with what should have been the final delivery to hand Super Kings the win. Ravi Rampaul, who finished the games with the best figures, on Royal Challengers debut, admitted that the team was having issues in the area: "We have definitely been having some problems in the death overs. The execution was not all that well. So it is something that we need to work on." Talking to Deccan Herald, Rampaul said he would be open to taking on the responsibility: "I am comfortable bowling at all times of the innings. There are a lot of games coming up and so there are a lot of opportunities." His team-mate, Vinay Kumar, who bowled a fine last over to win the match against Mumbai Indians by two runs, said it was unfair to expect the bowlers to click each time: "Death bowling is very difficult actually. When you are up against big hitters like Cameron White and MS Dhoni, six times out of ten the result will go the other way."
Kallis praises Morgan's attitude
Compared to last year when he failed to play even one match, Eoin Morgan has played all four of Kolkata Knight Riders' games this season. One of the most dynamic batsmen in the game, Morgan has played vital cameos like his 21-ball 47 in the victory against Sunriser Hyderabad at Eden Gardens last week. In terms of strike-rake, Morgan's 144.30 makes him the best Knight Riders batsman. Little wonder then that his Knight Riders team-mate Jacques Kallis is a fan. In his column in the Times of India Kallis pointed out how Morgan showed more determination with every match that he failed to play last year: "Eoin never made it to the starting XI last year, which was a constant source of concern for the coach because he is one of the best T20 batsmen in the world. However, his attitude was fantastic and a lesson to all those players who feel frustrated about being among the reserves. The more he was left out, the harder he trained."
IPL a boost for Test cricket - Lehmann
Darren Lehmann first came to the IPL in 2008 as a player, part of Shane Warne's Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural season. From 2009-12 he was the coach at Deccan Chargers, till the franchise was terminated. This season the former Australian batsman joined Kings XI Punjab as the head coach. Having been involved with the IPL throughout its six years, Lehmann believes the open and friendly atmosphere of the dressing rooms has allowed youngsters to accrue better skills. As a result, Lehmann said, international cricket - even the Test format - has become more vibrant. "It has certainly helped international cricket. There are no draws now. It has become faster and exciting. The skill level of the younger lot has gone up," Lehmann told Mail Today.
Stuart feels the pressure of being a Binny
Rajasthan Royals and Karnataka allrounder Stuart Binny would prefer not to be reminded who his father is. His father, Roger, was part of India's 1983 World Cup winning team in a career that spanned 27 Tests and 72 ODIs. Stuart is yet to get a national debut. "It's tough when you are compared to him," Stuart told DNA. "We're two different individuals. He's played Test cricket and I'm still trying to get a look into the India 'A' squad. When I was a kid, he always told me that I could only go out and play good cricket, and the rest would happen. You can't keep playing with your surname." Now, with his father being on the national selection panel, Stuart is wary of being having fingers pointed at him should he get a call-up: "If you've got scores on paper, there is not much people can do. But there will be times when I'll have bad days and fingers will be pointed at me. But I guess you have to put those days behind you."