Tahir banks on subcontinent experience
South Africa legspinner Imran Tahir is confident the experience of playing on subcontinent tracks during the World T20 will hold him in good stead as he prepares for his first IPL stint with Delhi Daredevils. Tahir, who was the leading wicket-taker in the World T20 in Bangladesh, was brought in as a replacement for the injured pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile.
"The wickets are looking the same. Even in Bangladesh there were no spin-friendly wickets. I have that experience and it would help," Tahir said. "Spinners have a main role whether in the IPL or world cricket. But it's hard to be a legspinner, you have to be accurate. The Kotla wicket suits spinners, I will try to do something special."
His addition is important for Daredevils who are currently struggling at the bottom of the table with six losses in eight games and need to win most of their remaining games for a shot at the play-offs. Slow-bowling is one of Daredevils' glaring weaknesses with frontline spinner Shahbaz Nadeem struggling for wickets. JP Duminy, a part-timer, has had to chip in to balance a bowling attack that has relied largely on pacers.
Tahir comes into the squad with 12 wickets in five games at the World T20 at an average of 10.91. He has 99 T20 wickets from 91 games with a strike rate of 19.5 and an economy rate of 6.42. Moreover, he also has the experience of having played in T20 leagues in Pakistan, South Africa and England. He also said that while he did not have a lot of experience of bowling in the Powerplay overs, he would be willing to do so for Daredevils.
"I know the team is not doing well. I want to do something for the team," Tahir said. "They are working hard, [it's] just things are not going their way. But you can't do much about it. Destiny, too, has a role to play in it. Even if we can win four out of six games, we will be able to justify.
"I have not bowled in Powerplay but if the captain asks me then it has to be considered in the interest of the team. I would like to put myself in that situation. If not, then I would like to bowl after six overs."
The presence of his South Africa team-mates, Duminy, Quinton de Kock and Wayne Parnell has made the transition smoother for Tahir.
"It is an advantage. They know how I play and they also know what they can to do help me as I am new in the side," he said. "I have also played against some of the Indians in England."