Mumbai: Young spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who helped Delhi Daredevils record a comprehensive victory over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League on Monday, said that his captain Virender Sehwag's encouraging words gave him the confidence to do well in the tournament. Nadeem took two wickets in three overs during the Powerplay in his side's seven-wicket win over Mumbai here to be adjudged Man of the Match.
In an earlier match against the title-holders Chennai Super Kings, he did not take any wicket but conceded just nine runs in his three overs, with Delhi registering a resounding eight-wicket win. "After the game against Chennai, Viru bhai said 'You go and bowl your normal balls and you will do well'. I bowled three overs in [the] Powerplay today [Monday] and I concentrated on my line and length, and it paid me off," the 22-year-old Jharkhand player said at the post-match press conference. "The second wicket [of Richard Levi] was special. I bowled an arm ball and it worked," he said.
"In that match [against Chennai], I bowled the 15th and 17th overs. Viru bhai told me to go out and do what I know. He gave me the confidence. When we came here, Viru bhai told me I did not allow even a batsman of Dhoni's calibre to hit me. As far as I'm concerned, he [Dhoni] is one of the best players of spin bowling," Nadeem said.
Nadeem would, however, rate his performance against Chennai better than that against Mumbai. "But I rate the last match [performance] better than this, though I did not get any wickets [against Chennai]," the young left-arm spinner, who took 2 for 11 in four overs, said. Nadeem had figures of 3-0-9-0 against Chennai in the home game on April 10 that helped Delhi restrict the holders for 110 before racing to an eight-wicket win.
Nadeem said the back-to-back victories over IPL's two top-rated teams have given Delhi enormous confidence for the rest of the tournament. "Mumbai is a very good team over the last 2-3 years and beating them gives us a lot of satisfaction. [In the] Last match we played [and beat] Chennai, who are also a very good side. After beating these two teams, we have a lot of confidence and are looking forward in this tournament."
Nadeem said he did not expect to bowl in the Powerplay last night until Sehwag told him he's bowling the second over when the team stepped onto the ground. "Actually I didn't expect to bowl the second over. When we were going out on the ground, Viru bhai said I am bowling the second over because he thought it will be difficult for them [openers Richard Levi and Davy Jacobs] to score as they are both foreign players. "He [Sehwag] just gave me the ball and said just bowl whatever you know and it worked for our team," Nadeem said.
He added that he concentrated on maintaining a good line and length as otherwise in a Twenty20 game a spin bowler can be hit mercilessly. "For me the most important thing as a bowler is to maintain [the] line and length. If you are a spinner, you are bound to get hit in this format and so you should be very precise with your line and length, and I'm working on that."
He said he had mixed feelings about not being able to bowl to his idol Sachin Tendulkar, who missed his fourth game in a row due to a finger injury. "I came to know only this morning that paaji [Tendulkar] is not playing. He's one of the greatest batsmen in the world. He's my idol, so it would have been a great opportunity for me to bowl against him."