Narine Checks Delhi And Knight Riders Spinner Scalps Four To Help Bundle Out Daredevils For 128 In IPL Opener

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Narine checks Delhi and Knight Riders spinner scalps four to help bundle out Daredevils for 128 in IPL opener By [/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Baidurjo+Bhose Baidurjo Bhose]
Published: 22:07 BST, 3 April 2013 | Updated: 02:02 BST, 4 April 2013
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It couldn't have started off on a better note for defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders as they restricted Delhi Daredevils to 128 all out in the opening match of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday.

The IPL might have returned after a 10-month hibernation, but KKR seemed to pick it up right from where they had left in last year's final against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai.

Every move showed immense strategising and every bowler looked a T20 specialist.
It was indeed a clinical show on the field by the boys in purple and gold.
Delhi Daredevils Captain Mahela Jayawardene, left, in action during the IPL match at Eden Garden in Kolkata, and, right, KKR Captain Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine celebrate in mid air the dismissal of Delhi Daredevils batsman David Warner

For the Daredevils, only skipper Mahela Jayawardene (66 off 52 balls) showed application and maturity as he played a lone hand to help Delhi reach a respectable total.

While Narine was the pick of the bowlers with figures off 4/13 off his four overs, he was brilliantly supported by Rajat Bhatia (2/23) and Lakshmipathy Balaji (1/20).

Having won the toss and elected to bowl on a newish Eden surface, skipper Gautam Gambhir couldn't have dreamt for a better start from his strike bowler and new bowling coach Brett Lee.

He bowled one that held its line after pitching and hit Unmukt Chand's (0) off-stump. He was replaced at the crease by Jayawardene and in David Warner's company, he looked to repair the early damage.

All looked good as the duo kept scoring the odd boundary and grasping every opportunity to run the quick singles and convert the ones into twos.

Kolkata Knight Rider owner Shah Rukh Khan celebrates during the IPLmatch yesterday

But Gambhir once again showed what made him stand out in last year's IPL.

He immediately brought on Narine and the wily spinner immediately put the brakes on the scoring. In an effort to force the ante, Warner (21 off 19 balls) perished.

With the ball pitching and going away from the Aussie, all he managed to do was edge to Jacques Kallis at first slip.

While Jayawardene kept pushing the singles and hitting the odd boundary, Manprit Juneja (8) too perished trying to hit L Balaji out of the park.

A topedged cut was caught brilliantly by L Shukla running in from the point boundary.

Naman Ojha (9) and Johan Botha (7) too didn't bother KKR much and it was disappointing to see that none of the batsmen looked keen to play second fiddle to Jayawardene.

With five overs to go, Gambhir again played a masterstroke by bringing on Narine.

And the immediate result was the wicket of Irfan Pathan (4).

Even before he had settled down, he looked to hit Narine out of the park, only to be caught by Manoj Tiwary at long-off.

In walked Andre Russell and he too perished trying to play the mystery bowler against the turn.

The return catch was definitely the easiest in Narine's career. And with Jayawardene too dismissed, trying to hit Lee over covers, it was the start of the end for the visitors.

Doctor for the mind Delhi Daredevils performance coach Jeremy Snape is a sports psychologist

If you thought that as performance coach of the Delhi Daredevils, Jeremy Snape's role is to count the sixes Virender Sehwag hits or the number of wickets Morne Morkel picks, think again.

The former England international is with the team to help every player with the mental aspect of the game.

In other words, he will help them in handling the pressure that comes with playing in a league like the IPL. In modern day cricket, it is more about the mental aspect than the physical aspect and that is where Snape comes into the picture.

Often players have faltered under pressure and have not been able to give 100 per cent. But Snape believes that his role is to help players keep cool in pressure situations.

Speaking to MAIL TODAY, Snape said that his role is just like that of a detective as he needs to do everything that is needed to solve a case.

"Well to start off with, yes I do feel my job is like the detective who is looking for clues, making notes and asking lots of questions because that helps in understanding the players' psyche better. "Interaction always increases confidence between people that is why I like interacting one on one with players.
Sometimes you just have to earn the confidence of the player before he opens up," he said.

Snape, who has a master's degree in sports psychology, explains that even by seeing two individual respond to one another, it is possible to understand their psyche.

"As I have observed, especially with the Daredevils, each and every player is from different parts of the country as well as the world.

They have been welcomed and the players are happy to be meeting each other.

"This shows that the team is bonding well. While it is still early days for me to assess further, I do see a lot of positivity. After all a person's behaviour can very well be a measuring factor of the amount of pressure or tension he is in," he said.

Snape himself has a very interesting reason behind taking up the role of performance manager or mind coach - however one likes to address him.

While Sachin Tendulkar has been an inspiration for many a youngster, who has taken up the game and gone on to play for the country, he was also indirectly involved in Snape studying sports psychology and then becoming a performance coach.

"I was bowling to Tendulkar in front of the 1, 20, 000-odd fanatics at the Eden Gardens and honestly the pressure got to me. We were never told about how to handle or tackle pressure. So when this situation arrived, I was stumped.

"While I bowled okay, I failed with the bat.

This incident was etched in my memory and from there on, I thought I needed to help others and not let them face this," Snape confessed.