Warming up to his new role

David Warner…enjoying batting in the middle-order.-PTI

David Warner loves opening and would play in that role for his country. He, however, says that in the IPL he is enjoying the challenge of trying to ‘steady the ship’ in the middle-order until the last couple of overs. He feels it is helpful for his game when he ‘changes gears’.

Australian opener David Warner is reportedly enjoying batting in the middle-order in the Indian Premier League and is viewing it as a challenge, although he admits he ‘loves’ opening. Warner has been batting at No. 4 for Sunrisers Hyderabad, warming up to the role for his own personal development and maturity as a cricketer given that he crunched 55 runs off 31 balls in his most recent outing against Mumbai Indians.

According to News.com.au, Warner believes the ability to bat patiently through the middle period at the crease before thundering ahead in his trademark style will be beneficial for his own game ahead of a nine-month period that includes a Twenty20 and one-day internationals in Abu Dhabi and a World Cup early next year.

Stating that he loves opening and would play in that role for his country, Warner, however, says that in the IPL he is enjoying the challenge of trying to ‘steady the ship’ in the middle-order until the last couple of overs. He feels it is helpful for his game when he ‘changes gears’.

Bowling and body language

Morne Morkel (Kolkata Knight Riders) is of the view that it is important for bowlers to have the right mindset and a good body language. The South African fast bowler, who finished with two wickets as Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Mumbai Indians by six wickets on May 14, says: “Body language is the key. Intimidating is one thing, but I think it is key to have a good body language.

“I think it is always going to be a competition between bat and ball. It is important for us as bowlers to keep calm and focus on our bowling ball-by-ball.”

While the KKR spinners kept the Mumbai Indians batsmen on a tight leash, Morkel gave the team an early breakthrough with just 12 runs on the board, and later, picked up the important wicket of Corey Anderson.

Aggression does help... Morne Morkel Knight Riders believes it is important for bowlers to have a good body language.-PTI

To a question whether he focuses on taking wickets or restricting the flow of runs, Morkel says: “I think it is a bit of both. I think it is important for me to have an aggressive mindset, and to think wickets, but not bowl for wickets. I don’t really bowl for wickets, but I think wickets.

“I like to develop and be seen as a bowler who can bowl in all sorts of conditions and not only on bouncy tracks.”

Morkel says he is taking some important tips from the legendary Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akram. “The thing that I am working on with Wasim is to keep hitting the crease and to get in a good position at the crease. If I am in a strong position at the crease, then the ball will do the work for me,” he explains.

‘Yuvraj is superstar’

Star batsman Yuvraj Singh came in for praise for his magnificent 68 not out, which set up Royal Challengers Bangalore’s victory against Delhi Daredevils on May 13, with Kevin Pietersen describing the Indian as a superstar of the game.

“I can tell you something for free. That man (Yuvraj) batted like an absolute superstar. Recently, he got a lot of criticism but he has proven those people wrong,” says Pietersen, whose side lost the match by 16 runs.

“He was just unbelievable, hitting those sixes and taking his side to that score. I was always smiling (when he hit those sixes),” says the Delhi Daredevils skipper, who has had run-ins with Yuvraj in the past over “pie-chucker” comments.

Yuvraj hit nine sixes and a four from just 29 deliveries in his sensational 68 to take Bangalore to 186 for four and set up a 16-run win.

Virat Kohli says that all doubts about Yuvraj’s future should be put to rest. “It’s been very pleasing to see Yuvi bat like that. Many people have written him off recently but all those who doubted him should put those doubts to rest,” the RCB skipper says.

“In life and cricket he has always come back stronger and for that I respect him a lot. He is a world-class player and will remain so till he plays the game,” he adds.

RCB’s Mr. Smart

De Villiers is all praise for Vijay Mallya, the owner of Royal Challengers Bangalore. According to the RCB batsman, Mallya is “Mr Smart” of the team.

“Think our boss — Vijay Mallya — is a complete package,” he said at an event organised by Huawei in Bangalore, when asked who was the “Mr Smart” and “complete package” in the squad.

However, Yuvraj Singh called de Villiers the complete package in the team. Replying to a query, Yuvraj said he clicks selfies from his smartphone once in two days, but wouldn’t post them.

Earlier Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, launched three smartphones amid fanfare featuring Yuvraj, Starc, Kohli and de Villiers. Huawei is the principal sponsor of RCB.