• 'Tough bowling on stamp-sized grounds'

    The Pune Warriors left-arm spinner speaks on the challenges of operating in the shortest format.

    Murali Kartik

    (Mail Today): Murali Kartik has made a living out of being an attacking left-arm spinner, but feels each bowler in the Twenty20 format has to be smart about his strategy.

    "In Twenty20, we get to play in postage stamp-sized grounds and as a bowler, you know that the batsmen will come hard at you every ball.

    On flat tracks, there is the strategy of trying to buy a wicket (give away a few runs and let the batsman make a mistake), but that's just not possible in this format. You have to minimise the damage and thus it becomes very important to realise what ball to bowl when and to whom,” Kartik, who plays for the Pune Warriors India, told Mail Today.

    The former India Test cricketer is glad that the Sahara group-owned franchise possesses a strong bowling lineup, which has been key to its success this season.

    "The quality we have in our ranks is tremendous, especially the Indian bowlers like (Ashish) Nehra, (Ashoke) Dinda and Rahul (Sharma).

    And then we have Alfonso Thomas, who I've played with

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  • 'Pressure, intensity still there'

    One of India's most successful Test captains, Sourav Ganguly speaks about the challenges of captaining an IPL team.

    Sourav Ganguly

    Calcutta: Sourav Ganguly, who is captaining the Pune Warriors India in IPL-V, spoke to The Telegraph from the Marriott in Chandigarh on Wednesday afternoon.

    With smart captaincy playing a role, the Warriors have won their first two matches and, clearly, couldn’t have started the tournament on a better note.

    The following are excerpts

    Over the moon after a dream start…

    Not really, for this is only the beginning of a long tournament and it’s best not to get too excited.

    Captaincy is something you really enjoy. What’s it like being back in the hot seat?

    Frankly, at this stage, it doesn’t matter whether I’m the captain or not. What matters is whether the team is playing well and whether the team is playing to potential. In my view, T20 is more of a team game as there’s less time for individuals to make a mark as individuals. This format is so fast paced that, usually, everybody moves as a team.

    Is captaining the Warriors any different from the Kolkata Knight Riders?

    No. I gave everything to the

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  • Dravid and the uneaten ice-cream

    All my life, I've had things done for me. Now, I'm looking forward to having the time to do things for others - Rahul Dravid

    Ever since Rahul Dravid announced his exit from cricket in the quiet, unfussy way that characterized his performance on it, public debate has swirled around the question of retirement.

    Who should, who shouldn't? To go when glory is ablaze, or to fade almost imperceptibly into one's personal twilight? And who decides when - the sportsman himself, or the paying public who no longer finds the player delivering 'value' for money on whatever idiosyncratic scale they chose to use?

    "I agree - there is a broad division between those who say the player should decide, and those who say the public decides," says Rahul Dravid, speaking on phone from Jaipur after a morning training session with his Rajasthan Royals mates. "The thing is, we use those two broad categories to fit all kinds - but my personal view is that there are as many different ways to look at this as there are sportsmen. Ian Chappell answered this question by saying, 'I just knew'. Like, one day the penny just dropped and that was

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