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Bowling in batting-friendly conditions in IPL is always a good challenge, says MI Emirates’ Imran Tahir

Seasoned South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who is representing MI Emirates in the ongoing ILT20, on Thursday recalled his playing days in IPL and said that it’s always a good challenge to bowl in the batting-friendly conditions in the Indian cash-rich league.

On his experiences of playing in India, the veteran spinner said it is the passion for the sport in the country that a cricketer doesn’t need much exposure to shine in the country.

“If you are a cricketer, you don’t need exposure to playing in India. The love and support of fans and the passion for cricket in India is unmatched. For me, it has been an amazing experience of playing the world’s biggest league for seven years. It’s an honour for me,” Tahir said on the eve of his team’s match against Abu Dhabi Knight Riders.

“It’s not that all pitches in India are spin-friendly, especially if I speak about the pitches used in IPL, so it’s always a good challenge of bowling in batting-friendly conditions,” he added.

Sharing his personal tale of picking variations of leg-spin after spending 13 years on the field, the 43-year-old said he’s happy that the youngsters in modern-day cricket don’t have to wait for such long.

“It’s our duty as seniors to motivate the youngsters, which I lacked during my initial days as a cricketer. MI Emirates has given a very good opportunity for the youngsters to share the dressing room with the experienced guys. It took me 13 years to learn another variation of leg spin bowling, but I’m happy that the youngsters today won’t have to wait for so long,” he said.

The MI Emirates put up a spirited performance at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday to drag the Giants’ chase of 139 to the final ball of the match, thanks to the efforts of the bowling group, led by Trent Boult, Dwayne Bravo and Tahir.

The South African cricketer feels the team will take forward the bowling confidence into the remaining two games of the ILT20 tournament.

“Our bowling department has been remarkable right from the first game. In the last match, our bowlers had to put in extra effort as the ball was wet due to dew, but the manner in which the boys fought back speaks volumes on the confidence of the bowling group,” Tahir said.

Placed third in the ILT20 points table, MI Emirates will take on Abu Dhabi Knight Riders here on Friday before locking horns with the Dubai Capitals on Sunday in Dubai.

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