IPL newsfile April 13, 2015

Zaheer, Shami not fully fit

ESPNcricinfo staff

Delhi Daredevils' Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Shami are yet to take the field in IPL 2015 © Delhi Daredevils

Indian pace duo of Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Shami will continue to be sidelined due to minor injuries. The Delhi Daredevils management issued a media release confirming their injuries that ruled them out of the Daredevils' first two games. The Daredevils, however, didn't reveal the duo's expected availability to bolster the pace departments.

According to the statement, Zaheer has a niggle,while Shami has a minor knee injury and is consulting a specialist to chart a quick recovery process.

"We look forward to the return of Zaheer and Shami to the playing XI. Thus far the bowling unit has stood up well and made the most of the opportunities. The most pleasing aspect of our bowling has been the performance of the spinners and the younger fast bowlers," said Gary Kirsten, Daredevils head coach.

The duo is unlikely to be available for their next game, in Pune against Kings XI Punjab on April 15.

Johnson backs Sandeep, Anureet

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has praised his team-mates Anureet Singh and Sandeep Sharma, saying the seamers have improved over the last two seasona.

Sandeep was the highest wicket-taker for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2014 and Johnson feels that the 21-year old, along with Anureet is only getting better.

"I am really impressed with Sandeep and Anureet. They train really hard and always give it 100%," Johnson told iplt20.com. "You can never doubt those guys when it comes to giving it their all. They are just getting more and more experienced and the more games they play the better for them.

"It is really good to see them bowl the way they bowled against a quality side and going about what they needed to do as part of a bowling unit. Keeping things really simple has worked for them. I love seeing young guys like that who train really hard and it gives me a buzz."

Johnson was also confident that Anureet and Sandeep could perform well on flat pitches.

"I would even trust them when it comes to bowling on a wicket where there isn't going to be much of swing and movement. I still think they will be able to put the ball in the right areas and be able to hit the wicket hard. It is truly exciting and nice to see their progress."

Would have preferred to play against Super Kings - Steyn

South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has said that he would have preferred to play in Sunrisers Hyderabad's opening match against Chennai Super Kings but has accepted the team management's decision to drop him. The bowler was left out of the side as Sunrisers went on to lose by 45 runs after conceding 209 but Steyn said he was not involved in the decision.

In his syndicated column, which appeared in the Times of India, Steyn said: "There has been plenty of talk over the years about whether certain players should be `rested' during the tournament and whether there should be a form of rotation going on. I've heard just about every argument there is, for and against. Fast bowlers traditionally need their workloads managed more than the other players but we only bowl four overs during a match so it's perfectly understandable that people would expect us to play every game.

"As I have said many times, it is often the unusual working hours and the travel which wear you down during the IPL far more than the cricket itself. I would have preferred to play in the opener, but I was not involved in the decision and will trust the management and coaches in whatever they decide is best for the team.

"Perhaps the plan is to ease me into the tournament so, hopefully , I will be extra sharp a little later on. Or perhaps I'm simply not looking sharp enough at the moment and the other international players were looking better. But I accept the decision and will do everything for the good of Sunrisers."