KATHMANDU, May 14: Sandeep Lamichhane remains positive about his outing in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) for his franchise Delhi Capitals (DC) despite struggling to hold on to his place in the playing XI. The 12th edition of the world’s richest cricket premier league marks the end of his first season of globe-trotting T20 franchise career.
The teenage spin sensation picked up eight wickets in six games at an economy rate of 9.13 bowling 23 overs. He registered the best of three wickets conceding 40 runs against Kings XI Punjab when DC routed them by five wickets.
“I played less but more than last year. Team needed someone who could bat so I had to sit out. It’s a team game. It is all about combinations. And Delhi already had two Indian leg-spinners. I still got my share of opportunities despite being an overseas. I am very happy with my team’s performance overall.”
IPL has been lauded as the world’s best league. Royals Challengers Bangalore and South African legend AB de Villiers went on to state that the league is more competitive than a world cup. Lamichhane, after struggling to repeat his success like other leagues, seems to have made the same conclusion.
“The IPL is the world’s biggest league. You get best of the batsmen and bowlers playing here. Margin of error is very less. It is the toughest one out there. I am happy to have played my role whenever I was called up.”
A self-realized Lamichhane acknowledged to have lacked strength in other facets of the game to be a regular in a playing
XI for a rapidly evolving T20 cricket.
“There were so many players, some even better than me who didn’t get an opportunity. They included me when we were playing in spinning wickets. I believe, I did well in those surfaces. I am working on my batting as well. It will help me and for whatever teams I play.”
Lamichhane wasn’t the only spinner who struggled to keep his place in the XI. Kuldeep Yadav, India’s premier left-arm wrist-spinner could only take four wickets in nine games before sitting out from Kolkata Knight Riders XI for the rest of the league. His had an economy of 8.66 but failed to perform the role of primary strike-bowler for his franchise which missed out on play-off places.
Yadav, Indian cricket team’s lead bowler, is heading to England to participate in the ICC Cricket World Cup within a week whereas Lamichhane will be resting at home addressing his back issues.
“I will rest and concentrate on rehabilitation. I had a slight back pain which needs some rest. I will not be playing PM Cup (Prime Minister Cup).” This is the first time fatigued Lamichhane has mentioned a fitness issue in his early career so far.
Similarly, world’s number one T20 bowler Rashid Khan was also not able to wave similar magical performances like last few years. He was not bad by any stretch of imagination but he was not equally threatening like before. A drop in efficiency was evident this year. Sunrisers Hyderabad lost in eliminator round.
This year’s IPL has been a learning experience for the young bowler which will help him improve and come back better. He can take a leaf out of other wrist-spinners who have struggled to perform in this year’s IPL.
“We never stop learning. Ups and downs are part of life. Picking up eight wickets in six games was a good experience for me. Now that many batsmen have started to study my bowling, I think, it was a good return. I am learning every day and will continue to do so.”
It was IPL where he got his first opportunity in international league. The round two will help him further to establish himself in international franchise leagues.