Alzarri Joseph puts team ahead of personal achievements

Alzarri Joseph recorded figures of six for 12 on his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut to help Mumbai Indians register a 40-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

David Warner was Alzarri Joseph's first wicket on the night.   -  IPL

It was the turn of another West Indian to hog the limelight in the IPL when pace bowler Alzarri Joseph notched up the best-ever bowling figures (six for 12) in IPL history as Mumbai Indians stunned the formidable Sunrisers Hyderabad.

And, not surprisingly, Alzarri was delighted and said he couldn’t have asked for a better start. “It is unbelievable. I will cherish this moment for sure,” he said after the win on Saturday night.

The Leeward Islands bowler just wanted to go out and put in all his efforts into his first game, go to the park, get bowling and taking wickets.

“The last wicket (of the match) gave me the maximum satisfaction for it gave my team the win. My aim is to win matches for the team and not think about personal performances,” said the fast bowler showing the typical West Indian attitude.

Significantly, Alzarri reveals that he has not spoken to any former West Indian cricketer on getting the call for the IPL this season. “I was excited to come here, didn’t speak to anyone. I just did what I have to do here,” he said.

Questioned whether the pitch suited his bowling and what kind of variations he would love to get in a high-scoring match, Alzarri says the score doesn’t really matter. “I just go out and put my best foot forward for from the first ball you know what kind of variations you need to employ,” he said.

“We knew that if we get stuck, get early wickets we are in the game on this pitch which was not the easiest to play,” the West Indian said.

On hogging being another West Indian after Andre Russell to hog the limelight, Alzarri said it was not something he would only play for. “I want to win the tournament not think only about personal performances,” he signed off.

—Chaseable target—

For his part, Sunrisers captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar felt that his team failed to capitalise a good start and that it was a chaseable target though the pitch was difficult for strokeplay.

“We didn’t get the crucial partnerships. I don’t think middle-order failure is a concern for it is the only first time in this edition it got some game-time in the middle. I think they will apply from next match onwards and do things which they failed in this match,” he said. 

“I don’t think even bowling is a concern in this game though we leaked a few runs in the death overs, could have conceded 10 runs less,” the star pace bowler said.

On Kane Williamson, Bhuvneshwar said that if fit he would play since he is the captain.

On Alzarri’s spell, the stand-in skipper said the West Indian bowled really well in his first game and deserved the wickets.