IPL 2017 is already underway and after most of the nations are done with their gruelling Test seasons, some of the cricketers are struck by injuries. Many were surprised when ODIs and T20Is’ No. 1 bowler Imran Tahir went unsold in IPL 2017 auction. With Ravichandran Ashwin, Mitchell Marsh out due to injury for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), Tahir was handed an opportunity. He grasped the chance and excelled in RPS’ first match against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Thursday where he ended with figures of 3 for 28. He also got the opportunity to play alongside MS Dhoni, who is inspiring for budding domestic cricketers as well as overseas players. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: KXIP vs RPS
Being the No. 1 T20I bowler, Tahir was pleased to pick the wickets for RPS. Speaking to iplT20.com, he said, “It’s a great feeling. Thanks to the Pune team who chose to call me and offered me a chance to play. I was initially very sad not to be a part of this league, but really pleased with myself to have performed well on getting an opportunity and making the most of it. The batters performed well and it was a good day for the team.” Tahir was upset when he went unsold in this edition of IPL, but with the call from RPS, he thanked his wife and god.
Tahir explained what his plan was while picking the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Jos Buttler and Parthiv Patel, “The way the MI batsmen were batting, it looked like they would end up scoring 200-odd runs, but I always love such kind of challenges. I always look to get wickets and try and break the momentum of the opposition. I was fortunate enough to do so by getting the first wicket of Parthiv Patel, followed by the next two wickets of Rohit Sharma and Jos Buttler which were special for me. The three batsmen who I got out are good against spin bowling and that’s what makes these wickets more special for me.”
Tahir also gained some advices from Dhoni during the practice session and also during the match, “I have a lot of respect for MS Dhoni, not only because of what he has done for his country and himself, but also because he is one of the nicest guys around. I had a few conversations with him in the practice sessions, but I did not enjoy bowling to him since he hit me for a couple of sixes (laughs). He has been very helpful to me and his advice is something that I would keep taking. I’m pretty excited to play alongside Dhoni.”