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Features and Interviews

Variations helped me a lot: Vinay Kumar

India pacer also lauds Yuvraj’s knock and credits Dhoni for helping him stay calm

India pacer also lauds Yuvraj’s knock and credits Dhoni for helping him stay calm

Aaron Finch attacked the Indian bowlers to set the hosts a formidable target, which Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni conquered by milking the Australian bowlers with two balls to spare. However, even as the batsmen stole the show in Rajkot, one bowler put up a determined performance to restrain Australia to quite an extent.

Finishing with figures of 4-0-26-3 pacer Vinay Kumar helped chain down the Australians who were galloping to a mammoth total. He claimed the crucial wickets of the dangerous Shane Watson and Australia captain George Bailey and later halted Finch’s blitzkrieg as well.

While speaking to after the win in the tour opener, the pacer said that he learnt from MS Dhoni to keep his cool under trying and high pressure situations, which stood him in good stead today.  

Excerpts from his interview:

No target too big for India?

Yes. The wicket was actually too good to bat and the kind of batting line-up we have, 230-odd also would have been chaseable.

The wicket was good for batting, so how had you planned to bowl here?

Actually it was a flat wicket. I was just backing myself and trying to mix my variations. Initially in the first spell I bowled normally – during the powerplay. And after that I started bowling into their body or a little slower or bowling wide yorkers.

What did you tell yourself to come back into the game?

In this kind of format it is difficult to bowl and perform. And to perform you need to be very calm in the mind and that is what I have learnt from MS Dhoni. Whenever I get time, I talk to him about how he keeps so cool. Today also the way he batted, it was amazing and the kind of partnership he built with Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) at that moment (when India was still under pressure and needed 102 from 53 balls) he didn’t panic. That’s what I said to myself before this match, whatever happens I won’t take pressure. I will just go and try to bowl to my strengths and that is what I did.

Your three wickets were very crucial, especially Watson and Bailey’s dismissals in quick succession

They both are very good players and they can take the match away single-handedly. Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) bowled really well to get the first breakthrough for India. They were going so hard at us and after that I just bowled to my strengths and got two wickets. That’s how we pulled the game back.

Yuvraj Singh once again played a match-winning knock

Amazing! It is very entertaining to watch his batting from outside. Luckily we have him in our team. It was amazing batting.

Sachin Tendulkar announced that his 200th Test will be his last. You have played with him too

I am very lucky to have played Test match with him and I am very little to say anything about him. He is a great idol and people treat him like God. Just sharing the dressing room with him is an amazing feeling and to play with him was great. I got his wicket twice and it is a great gift for me.

What is your most cherished memory of him?

In South Africa in the Indian Premier League I got him caught behind with an out-swinger. That was a memorable moment for me.

Features and Interviews

Playing in India is special: Maddinson

Aussie opener recounts debut experience on subcontinent

Aussie opener recounts debut experience on subcontinent

The atmosphere was overwhelming and the crowd partisan, but debutant Nicolas Maddinson seemed to have taken it all in his stride as he whipped 34 off 16 deliveries to help Australia get off to a flying start in the only T20I versus India. The 21-year-old opening batsman who was called in to play in the shortest format of the game got off the mark with a drive to the boundary off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and followed up with two more in the next over, giving the spectators a glimpse of his talent.

Although he has toured the country before, Maddinson who represented the senior national side for the first time in any format said that this is an experience that he will remember for quite some time. While he would have been happier had his team won, he was glad to have gotten the opportunity to experience this level of competition in India.

Excerpts from his exclusive interview with

Tough loss but a good game

Yes, India as we know is a tough place to tour for Australia. It was a good game and it all came down to the second last ball. It was tough to lose, but it was the first of many games in the series.

How has the Australian team prepared for countering spin seeing the way they had gone after Ravichandran Ashwin?

I think the wicket sort of us helped us to play Ashwin like we did. There wasn’t a great deal of turn so I guess that always helps.

Personally how had you prepared to bat in Indian conditions? What tips have you received from seniors like Aaron Finch?

Yes definitely. I have been lucky enough to tour India with the Australian Under-19 sides and our Academy sides. So I have had some experience over here playing and training. Going out there in the game and to be able to play in India is something else, especially against India. It was something I will remember.

What was it like wearing the national jersey for the first time?

I was hoping that we would get a win. Personally it was to try and have fun and enjoy playing for Australia and representing Australia for the first time. But I would have been happy with Australia winning.

Your thoughts Aaron Finch’s knock that set up the game

He played exceptionally well. He has been in good form, especially in this format of the game for a long time. So he is putting some good scores on the board and it is up to us bat around him. And we should have gone on to put a bigger score on the board with the few starts that we got.

What was it like to play in front of a packed Rajkot crowd? Have you experienced anything like this before?

No, I haven’t. It was very loud. I couldn’t hear much out there while I was batting. But they are the joys of playing in India, I guess. It is an experience that I am going to remember. These conditions are so different to ours and getting an opportunity to play in India is something that I am very happy with.

What would you take from this game?

Obviously to play in India and experience this level of cricket for me as a 21-year-old is a massive learning tool. For me, that’s something. And to be able to bat in the middle with Aaron Finch is special.