TNPL 2018: superb Gillies on the brink of elimination after fourth successive defeat
Before Ravindandran Ashwin left to make a mark on the test series in England, he certainly made one in Tamil Nadu. The Indian international, who led Dindigul Dragons in TNPL 2018 before his sojourn in England, made his mark on all-rounder R Vivek.
With an average of 58.3 and a strike rate of the Dindigul it through to their second TNPL playoffs. Speaking to sportskeeda, he credited Ashwin for helping him convert a weakness into a strength.
" R Ashwin gave me a lot of ideas." Says Vivek.
" That is the reason 2hy I have been able to hit sixes easily. Earlier, I had an issue hitting left-arm spinners but thanks to the ideas from Ashwin, I have been able to overcome and hit every bowler, whether it is left-arm spin or pace. "
Only three batsmen have hit more sixes than Vivek in TNPL 2018 but all of them have played well over 100 deliveries while the Dragons all-rounder has only faced 81. But when he has shown he has been at the crease, he was shown a tremendous penchant for clearing the ropes almost at will, something he has had to do from the outset at times. He explains that his role in the side is simple.
" In tough situations, when runs are hard to come by, my role is to score the necessary runs. ( on his approach to hitting sixes ) It is all about confidence. I do not care if the wind is blowing or not. If it is in my arc, I just hit it confidently."
"Initially, I take a look at things. If it is in my arc, I go for it. If not, I try and take a couple of singles before going for the big shots. "
So does his approach change according to the bowler? And what was going through his mind when he hit karaikudi kaalai spinner Mohan prasath for 32 runs in an over in the process breaking the record for most expensive over in TNPL history?
" I don't really care who the bowler is. I just look at the ball and hit it. During the over my mindset was to hit the bale if it is in my arc if not just take a single and get to the other end. thankfully for me, he bowled a few loose balls and I punished him," he added.
Batting on 42 off just 12 balls, Washington sundaris record of fastest fifty in the tournament was also under threat. But Vivek got out the following balls and finished with an incredible 13 ball 42. So did Washington's record ever cross his mind when he was smoking the ball to all corners of Tirunelveli? Much like his batting, his response is simple and precise.
" I do not play for records, I always play for my teams." It is for his team, Dindigul Dragons, who retained him ahead of TNPL 2018 that Vivek wants to improve his bowling. When asked about the captaincy styles of R Ashwin and N jagadeesan, Vivek admits that there isn't a great deal of difference between the two.
" Both captains let us express ourselves and do not restrict us from playing our natural game. The freedom to play our game and enjoy ourselves is always there. "
Despite the loss against karaikudi kaalai Vivek knows that one win is all it takes to help them join Madurai panthers in the TNPL 2018 playoffs.
And with an in from Vivek, who is benefiting from the advice of Ashwin, Dindigul will be hoping to beat bottom-placed cheoauk super Gillies in their final group game of TNPL 2018 and make it through to all playoffs.[simple-author-box]