IPL 2020 | Bowling in Delhi will be a challenge but I am ready to overcome it, says Tushar Deshpande

IPL 2020 | Bowling in Delhi will be a challenge but I am ready to overcome it, says Tushar Deshpande

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Tushar Deshpande, who has been picked up by Delhi Capitals in Thursday auction, has stated that bowling at Kotla will be a challenge but he is ready to cross the hurdle with elan. The Mumbai pacer has also added that it is not always about bowling to the ego, rather to bowl smart on occasions.

A proper fast bowler, not the medium-fast bowler who relies on the variations to be successful, capable of landing 150kph on a regular basis, Tushar Deshpande had to face the preconceived notion of “not having enough control in his stride”.  But watch him bowl in a match, or even in a net session, it is difficult to notice any lack of effort from him. It is this very effort which is the cornerstone to his rise in Indian cricket which has seen him being picked up by Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League auction on Thursday.

After being ignored for the first time in last year’s auction, where his name went up on the back of a solid Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare Trophy, Deshpande ensured that he had enough time in his disposal to master the art of bowling pace - something that has always come naturally to him. Now that he has gone one step up, it is the time, he can showcase what he has got. 

“Delhi is a team which has been giving opportunities to the youngsters,” Deshpande told SportsCafe. “So it is a very good platform for me to showcase my talent. Knowing that I may get a chance to play in an IPL game is always a big motivation so I am ready to give my hundred percent. It is very important that you know you would get a break in this team.”

While Delhi have a reputation of their own when it comes to their batting, having the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer in the team, their pace bowling was way too dominated by spin, especially after they let go of Trent Boult. However, the team accumulated Deshpande to bolster the strength to compound Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada and Avesh Khan. Deshpande is excited to join the likes of Rabada and Sharma to pick up their brains.

“It is going to be very crucial because Kagiso Rabada is the world’s number one bowler and Ishant Sharma is a strike bowler of the Indian team. So the experience that they have gained in the IPL and the way they prepare for pressure games is always what I will be looking to learn. Because that is the thing which will take me ahead on my career. Bowling has to be there but the mental thing is very important,” the 24-year-old added.

With the IPL almost four months away, there is enough time for Despande to wait and see how his role is going to be in the team. Whilst the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi has always been on the slower side, tweakers have found more success. But as Rabada showcased last year, it was possible for a pacer to be on the top of the game at the venue too. Although Deshpande doesn’t want to read too much into it, he is sure that he can overcome the small ground problem for a bowler in Delhi.

“The thing is we are 4-5 months away from the IPL so judging the wicket from now on is not a good idea, but seeing the history of Kotla it has always been for spinners and batsmen. So it will be a challenge since it is a small ground but whatever the pitch condition is, I will bowl according to the team plan,” Deshpande said. 

“It is always a challenge when batsmen are going after you but the most important thing is that you have an opportunity to get them out also because when the batsman is in an attacking mode it is the best opportunity to get him out. But the thing is you have to bowl smart there. It is not always about pace or bouncer or yorker. It is also about reading the situation and what the strengths and weaknesses of the batsman are and bowling according to that. So I think that is the main point when batsmen are going after you.”

At DC, the Bombay boy will team up with Ricky Ponting and his childhood friend and Mumbai teammate Shreyas Iyer, which he thinks will be a fruitful association. Deshpande wants to channel his aggression with Ponting, one of the most aggressive players and skippers of his time.

“Very excited to work with Ricky Ponting because I have always watched him on TV and his aggressive attitude is something I am looking to learn from. Even batsmen faced an aggressive fast bowler who starred them in the eye. But Ricky Ponting used to stare back in the fast bowler’s eye so that is the attitude I am looking for. Also the kind of experience that he has, I think he has been the captain of the number one Test side for about 7-8 years,” Deshpande concluded.

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