Pawan Negi: I feel Delhi didn't back my skills

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Image Courtesy: © IPL

Pawan Negi: I feel Delhi didn't back my skills

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Saketh RVK

06/06/2016

After a terrible IPL campaign, Pawan Negi, the costliest Indian player in the 2016 IPL auction, has blamed Delhi Daredevils for not using his skills with the bat and the ball. Picked at a whopping Rs.8.5 crores, Negi bowled just nine overs, took 1 wicket and scored 57 runs in IPL 2016.

Slow left-arm bowler Pawan Negi shot into the limelight last February when the Delhi Daredevils (DD) splashed Rs. 8.5 crores in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions to buy him. The huge price-tag was barely justified though, as he played just eight matches for the franchise with minimum yield. In an interview to the Asian Age interview, the Air India player opened up about his IPL campaign.

When asked if the disappointing season affected him emotionally, Negi said, “Sitting on the bench was hard to digest as I never expected to watch the action from the sidelines. I was mentally down, but I didn't lose hope. After the season, T.A. Sekhar and our manager Sunil Valson pepped me up saying that I didn't get enough opportunities to showcase my abilities. The hardest part was, before every match, I had no clue whether I would play or not. People kept asking me why I didn't play much. I didn't have a proper answer.”

With Delhi’s team selection coming into question time and again, his lack of involvement did raise eyebrows. Talking about the team management’s message to him after he was bought, he said, “It was never about money. The team management said not to get weighed down by the price tag and the pressure that comes with. Coach Rahul Dravid told me to stick to my natural instincts. He wanted me to perform like I was doing in the Chennai colours for the last two years. I was excited to play for Delhi, my home. I wanted to perform well and ensure I get selected for the Zimbabwe series.”

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The 23-year-old admitted that he himself did not know what went wrong. Negi felt that DD did not back his ability with bat and ball like, MS Dhoni, who backed the spinner while he was playing for Chennai Super Kings.

"I kept wondering why wasn't I given more opportunities. And the team management didn't tell me the reason either. When I was with CSK [Chennai Super Kings], Mahi bhai [MS Dhoni] backed my abilities. Maybe, I feel Delhi didn't back my skills with bat and ball. Maybe, it was a rotation policy, because I was never told that I was dropped.

“I was told that it was sort of a combination. Though I'm a very positive person, I would say this IPL ended on a negative note for me. I wasn't surprised a bit that I didn't make the cut for the Zimbabwe series because I didn't perform well in the IPL.” he told The Asian Age.

On asked if he had a conversation with captain Zaheer Khan about this, the Delhi Daredevils player said he was about to ask but they surprised him by picking him in the last two matches.

“He is such an experienced cricketer and he knew his job. I felt it should be something to do with the strategy,” said Negi

(Also read - The 10 Greatest Quotes by Muhammad Ali)

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