Asif’s presence gives Daredevils an edge, says Lillee

April 24th, 2008 - 5:58 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Dennis Lillee was a legend even in his playing days. The man who gave pace bowling a new meaning with his aggression and accuracy may no longer be a terror on the field, but the aura has not diminished. He is still an inspiration for upcoming generations and Pakistani speedster Mohammed Asif is one of them. Now the two are on the same side of the fence and share the dressing room. Asif is one of the bowling spearheads of the Delhi Daredevils team and Lillee their mentor.

While Asif is elated at having Lillee to guide him, he will have another legend, Glenn McGrath to share the new ball with.

Lillee, who with T.A.Sekar, helped identify players to build the Daredevils team, feels Asif’s presence will give Delhi an edge.

“We have a very good bowling line-up. And I have always maintained it even before Asif joined us. But now his presence will definitely be an added boost,” Lillee told reporters after the team’s practice session at the Feroze Shah Kotla here Thursday.

“In Twenty20 matches, one needs to put the brakes early. And we can put that early,” he said

Lillee went on to add that the 25-year-old Asif’s ability to bowl an accurate line and length makes him special.

“I expect him to bowl well and so far he has done that in the only match he has played so far in the league (against Deccan Chargers). His presence also helps us to make room for an extra batsman in the team,” he said.

Asif and McGrath make a deadly opening attack for Daredevils. The duo bowled at the nets for an hour and McGrath gave the Pakistani some tips. Asif, an ardent fan of McGrath, was a keen listener and then tried them out at the nets.

Referring to the McGrath-Asif chats, Lillee said that IPL would be a great learning experience for the juniors, who get a chance to share the dressing room with some of the legends of the game.

“When you share the dressing room with some of the greats you always look out for things. The other day I was giving tips to Yo Mahesh before the first match in the dressing room. When McGrath left the room he patted on my shoulder and said don’t worry ‘I will be with the guys at the deep during fielding’,” recounted Lillee.

And that may well be the feature that will set IPL apart from all such tournaments in the past.

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