Back to the Delhi franchise. How has been the experience so far?
It has been excellent. I am enjoying my time with the franchise. The attention to detail and the way the players are protected is quite fantastic. The times aren’t easy but we have all been looked after really well. The management is always conscious of players’ needs and allows us the freedom and the space to express ourselves. It sounds like a cliché but the truth is this is one big family.
Clearly, the touch is back after the first game. You are batting like the David Warner of old. Must be very important for you after what had transpired last year at the Sunrisers Hyderabad?
You always want to contribute and make a difference for the team. That’s how I have always been as a player. I will do everything I can for my team and try and make a difference to the team’s cause. What had happened is now in the past and it is of course very important for me to show to myself and to everyone what I am capable of. I am enjoying my batting in these conditions. The wickets are greener than what we have seen in the past and as a result it is challenging to bat up front. But that’s what you enjoy as a performer and want to deliver.
Has coach Ricky Ponting’s presence helped you in any way?
I have always shared a great partnership with Ricky. He is a legend of the game. His understanding of the game is second to none and that’s what you learn from him as a player. With him there you can say it is a kind of additional comfort and I have thoroughly enjoyed my conversations with him.
Your opening partner, Prithvi Shaw, is also batting superbly. Has it made your job any easier?
He is an exciting player. He has all the shots in the book and doesn’t hold back. It is like going back to my (Sunrisers) Hyderabad days when Shikhar (Dhawan) and I used to open together. Some days Shikhar would be the aggressor and other days it would be me. That’s the same here. When I see Prithvi going well, we make our plans accordingly. Like I said, it is ultimately about the team and how we can serve the team. That’s what our job is as players going out to open for the Capitals.
How is Rishabh Pant shaping as captain?
You two are getting along nicely, it seems. We have struck up a real good bond. He is a very talented young man. He is real fun to be with and has a very good sense of humour. What is important to remember is as wicketkeeper he has a lot going on for him. He has to set the fields, make the changes and is also one of our best batters. It is not easy in a fast-paced game. So my job as a senior player is to help him in every way possible. My role is to support him, offer suggestions and then it is upto him to do whatever he thinks best for the team.
How is Delhi Capitals dealing with the dew problem?
You rarely see this much dew. It makes it very difficult for the bowlers, especially spinners, to grip the ball. But that’s how it is and you can’t complain. So, we are doing special drills to combat the dew and making plans how to deal with it. It is a real challenge. One of the takeaways for me from this season of the IPL is that there is always something new to learn in our sport and this is one such thing.
A lot of high catches are getting dropped this season. Even international cricketers are finding it difficult.
That’s true. The lights are very bright in the stadiums and it sometimes happens that when the balls go too high you just seem to lose them. It is about practice and you need to be really good to follow the ball till the last micro-second. Even if you lose the ball for a fraction of a second you might end up missing the opportunity. This is where you need to practice more and more to get better and get used to the art.
Your social media feed is really entertaining.
We love to do these things to entertain our fans. If you can bring a smile to people’s faces, you should always do so. The kind of love we receive here in India is unparalleled. My family and I will always want to give back in anyway we can. That’s what prompts us to do more and try new things.