IPL Twenty20: where friends take a backseat

April 18th, 2008 - 2:28 pm ICT by admin  

By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, April 18 (IANS) What does the highest test wicket-taker in the world Muthiah Murlitharan want when he bowls to Sri Lankan team mates Kumar Sangakkara and captain Mahela Jayawardene in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament? “Try to take them in the first ball,” is the prompt answer that Murlitharan gives with a grin and a hearty laugh.

“There will be no concession now,” Murli added as he explained his preparations for his IPL team Chennai Super Kings for their first encounter scheduled Saturday against the Mohali IPL team, Kings XI Punjab.

The Mohali team coach Tom Moody, who himself was the coach of the Sri Lankan national squad earlier, is eager to see the on-field contest as the Sri Lankans face one another.

“I am looking forward to seeing Jaya (Jayawardene) and Kumar (Sangakkara) play Murli. I want them to be hitting him out of the ground,” Moody said here.

Jayawardene and Sangakkara are in the Kings XI Punjab side led by Yuvraj Singh.

Players from the same national squad in respective countries will be facing one another in an international encounter in a big way in the inaugural IPL tournament starting Friday.

So when Brett Lee comes charging in to bowl at ‘big-man’ Mathew Hayden, there will be no concession either.

“I am excited about bowling to Mathew (Hayden). I will give my 100 percent to it,” Lee sounded a clear warning to his Australian counterpart.

For that matter, the much-hyped Mahendra Singh Dhoni versus Yuvraj Singh contest will see their off-field friendship take a backseat.

“There will be no let up. We will all compete to win. Whoever plays well will win,” Yuvraj said before his team Kings XI Punjab’s first match against Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings here Saturday.

Mohali team coach Moody also does not want to restrict the temperamental S. Sreesanth on the field.

“He needs to stay aggressive. He is an entertainer and it should be like that. We will see if he crosses the line. But he needs to keep the aggression against all,” Moody said.

Despite the T20 format being heavily loaded in favour of batsmen, ace spinner Murli is not too worried.

“The Indian tracks support spinners a lot and I will take advantage of that. The South African tracks (in the T20 world cup last year) were flat and fast. This time, it is going to be different,” the ever-smiling Murli said.

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