Imran Tahir opens up about IPL auction snub

Published: April 7, 2017
Imran Tahir took three wickets in Pune's victory over Mumbai. PHOTO COURTESY: BCCI

Imran Tahir took three wickets in Pune's victory over Mumbai. PHOTO COURTESY: BCCI

MUMBAI: Imran Tahir needed less than 12 deliveries to highlight the folly of his rejection at the Indian Premier League auction in February when the leg-spinner set up Pune’s thrilling victory in their IPL opener against Mumbai on Thursday.

The 38-year-old South African is the top-ranked bowler in both forms of international white-ball cricket yet he was surprisingly overlooked by all eight franchises for the 2017 edition of the cash-rich tournament.

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It was only after Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was ruled out through injury that the Rising Pune Supergiant signed Tahir, who has previously played for the Delhi Daredevils, as a replacement.

Despite his late reprieve, the leg-spinner was pressed into action early in his side’s home match after the Mumbai Indians had made a flying start. Making light of being asked to bat first, Jos Buttler and Parthiv Patel took Mumbai to 41-0 in four overs when skipper Steve Smith tossed the ball to Tahir and he struck with his second delivery to dismiss the Indian international.

In his next over, Tahir removed opposition captain Rohit Sharma for three and then the dangerous Buttler for 38, who was unlucky to be given out lbw, to reduce Mumbai to 62-3 and underline his value as a wicket-taking bowler.

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Tahir thanked the Pune franchise for given him an opportunity to compete in the tournament, even if it came later than he expected. “I was initially very sad not to be a part of this league, but really pleased with myself to have performed well on getting an opportunity and making the most of it,” he told the IPL website.

South African international added he is ready to prove a point. “I was quite low when I went unsold in the auction but life goes on. I came here to prove myself again and my job is to perform whenever given an opportunity.”

Mumbai lost momentum after Tahir’s triple strike but rebuilt their innings to reach 184 for eight thanks to some incredible hitting by Hardik Pandya against paceman Ashok Dinda in the final over, which went for an eye-popping 30 runs.

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The team still fell short, however, as the brilliant Smith blasted Kieron Pollard for consecutive sixes in the final over to guide his team to a seven-wicket victory with one ball to spare.

“The way the Mumbai Indians batsmen were batting, it looked like they would end up scoring 200-odd runs, but I always love such kind of challenges,” Tahir, who posted figures of 3-28 from his four overs, added. “I respect good batsmen but at the same time I always look to get wickets and try to break the momentum of the opposition. The three batsmen who I got out today are good against spin bowling and that’s what makes these wickets more special for me.”

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Faisal
    Apr 7, 2017 - 4:01PM

    the indians didn’t want him in the immediate auction because he is Pakistan origin and his name is Imran. The usual cheap antics and pathetic bullying by Indians. Now they realized that Imran is a superlative bowler and so even this backfires on them. Recommend

  • Kuldeep
    Apr 7, 2017 - 6:03PM

    @Faisal It has nothing to do with origin. He was not picked in the auction because his performance in last IPL was disappointing.Recommend

  • Dil se
    Apr 7, 2017 - 7:29PM

    @Faisal: faisal bhai Indians have many muslims working and contributing towards country s progress Please dont get religion in sports.We love all our muslim brothers.Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 7, 2017 - 8:55PM

    @Kuldeep: ; Yeah Right, Rohit Sharma just scored a triple century against him …; Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 7, 2017 - 8:59PM

    @Kuldeep: Hello good morning, wake up from your dreaming; 12 balls three wickets ? Non Performance ??? Its time for your medicines, go take them ; Recommend

  • Kuldeep
    Apr 7, 2017 - 11:59PM

    @Shah Sorry for considering you a bit intelligent.
    In last IPL he bowled many more over than 4 overs took many more wickets than 3 and conceded many more 40s. IPL snub was was bcz he did not perform as per his capability playing for Delhi Daredevils last season.
    In auction they don’s foresee future and bid but on the basis of past performance they bid. So when I said “last IPL”, I meant last IPL season. Even if you had considered last IPL match (obviously before Auction) He’d conceded somewhat more than 50 runs and had taken 4 wickets. That whole season for DD was horrible. He was expected to do better than Indian spinners but he didn’t.
    So, If he was doing on par with Indian spinner, nobody see a point of blocking 1/4 Foreign spot and playing heavily.
    Cheers buddy and stay blessed.Recommend

  • Pure Ind
    Apr 8, 2017 - 12:37AM

    T20 just doesnt need to be a good bowler, but a decent Batsman & Good fielder,Apart from the bowling Imran is a very pedestrian cricketer just like most of the Pakistani Team. Now wake up & have your medicines…Recommend

  • Kulbhushan yadav
    Apr 8, 2017 - 4:57AM

    If Tahir was a Pakistani, he would not have been playing in IPL. He should thank his stars for being part of SA.Recommend

  • Khan
    Apr 12, 2017 - 6:50AM

    @Kulbhushan yadav:
    That would be his own will if he wants to thank his stars for being able to play at the paradise called India. Please dig your head out of the telly to see real India on the streets outside your house. Most of these professional cricketers earn more than they deserve and live a comfortable life in their countries wanting any thing more than that is pure greed not playing IPL doesn’t mean they are starving as most of Indians would think.Recommend

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