Venkatapathi Raju: ‘Wrist spinners will play a big role’

Former India left-arm spinner says the focus in the IPL will be on youngsters.

S.L. Venkatapathi Raju at the launch of Tata Nexon as the official partner of IPL 2018 and also unveiling the IPL trophy in Hyderabad.   -  K.V.S Giri

Former India left-arm spinner S.L. Venkatapathi Raju may have got the better of some of the best batsmen during his heydays, but he feels it will be a totally different proposition to give Telugu commentary for the IPL on Star TV network.

“It is never going to be easy in Telugu compared to English. To find the timing and the right words to describe a particular action on the field is difficult. Initially, this was a big hurdle. But having done two IPL editions now (for Sony Network), I am more at ease,” said the 48-year-old in a chat with Sportstar on Wednesday ahead of the unveiling of the IPL trophy and launch of Tata Nexon as the official partner of Vivo IPL.

“Doing Telugu commentary is a very good experience as it connects you with the viewers, especially those who are not comfortable in English or Hindi,” he said. “The feedback was encouraging and we will try to keep improving for better impact.”

On the IPL, Raju said with a lot of superstars having retired, the focus this time will be more on the youngsters. “Everyone is eager to raise the bar,” he said.

“I believe wrist spinners will play a big role and if you look at the line-ups it is obvious they are an integral part of a team’s strategy. And, they are bid for a big price,” he added.

Raju said being a Hyderabadi, he will back Sunrisers, which he says, will no doubt miss the inspirational David Warner.

“CSK is always a formidable outfit and the kind of passion it generates, especially in Tamil Nadu, is amazing.”

“T20 format ensures a lot of surprises and this IPL will also throw up fresh talent too.”

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