Lamichhane joins Capitals training

- SURESH RAJ NEUPANE, New Delhi

Mar 22, 2019-

Nepal’s leg-spin sensation Sandeep Lamichhane has joined the Delhi Capitals training just a day after he landed in New Delhi to begin his second season in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The world’s most lucrative Twenty20 competition begins from Saturday with defending champions Chennai Super Kings taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore. Capitals begin their campaign a day later playing away to Mumbai Indians. The 18-year old reached New Delhi on Tuesday and joined the Capitals team for a practice match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium—the home ground for the Delhi franchise. As Lamichhane reached Kotla with his team at 5:00PM from ITC Hotel in Delhi’s Diplomatic Enclave, Capitals coach and Australian World Cup-winning captain Ricky Ponting was preparing for the practice match with fielding coach Mohammad Kaif.

Wednesday’s practice session lasted for almost six hours including a practice match where Lamichhane bowled four overs and took a wicket conceding 35 runs. Ponting and Kaif were both seen instructing Lamichhane during the training session. “I am very excited. We have a strong squad this year and I will give my 100 percent to help Capitals win,” Lamichhane said. Lamichhane featured in only the last three matches for Capitals—then named Delhi Daredevils—picking up five wickets. The leggie had managed to impress everyone in his debut and then went on to play six more franchise leagues across the world including the Australian Big Bash League and Pakistan Super League.

On the back of mouth-watering performances in those leagues, Lamichhane will be expected to be seen in Capitals’ playing XI more often this year. The International Cricket Council  has also listed him among the eight probable stars to sign this season in the IPL. His teammate and Indian batting star Shikhar Dhawan, who is back with the franchise after 10 years, was all praise of Lamichhane. “He is a talented boy and I’ve seen him getting matured with each passing day,” said Dhawan. Dhawan played for Sunrisers Hyderabad after quitting Capitals but the franchise bolstered their batting by bringing back the opener for a price of INR 64 million.

With the recruitment of fast bowler Ishant Sharma, Kaif as fielding coach and Indian legend Saurav Ganguly as advisor and West Indian Samuel Badree as bowling coach, Capitals have suggested they have a point to prove this season. On Thursday, the Capitals team left for Mumbai to compete against the Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.

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How do you retrospect your last one year?

I am very happy because I got the opportunity to play in almost every other big franchise leagues across the world. I would take it as an opportunity to bring the best out of me. I consider this a right opportunity at a right time for me. I will try to give my best in the IPL as well.

You’re back in Delhi after a year, how is the feeling?

I am excited to get back to the place from where I began my professional career. I am very much optimistic that we (Capitals) will do very good this season. Compared to the previous years, we are better and the team is balanced as well.

How was your first day in the training?

It was good. I got time to interact with everyone including the coach and teammates during the training.

What are expectations this season?

I will just try to give my 100 percent. More than expectations, my target would be to hand team the victory.

How do you take it if you don’t get the opportunity to play since there are many world class players in the team?

If I am not in the field, there will still be a lot for me to learn by sitting in the dugout. Learning from outside the ground also brings a lot of positive changes in you.

How do you train back in Nepal at the same level when you are not playing foreign leagues?

I always make things pretty simple. We don’t get facilities like this in Nepal. So I always try to get the best out of any resources available in Nepal.

You said that you learned a lot watching videos on YouTube. Do you still do that?

It (watching videos) is my daily routine. I cannot change it. Whether I am in a good or a bad phase, I always learn through YouTube.

Whom do you watch the most?

Who else is it going to be other than Shane Warne (Australian spin legend). He is the source of my inspiration. I took a lot of suggestions from him when I played in the Australian Big Bash League.

Was there any special suggestion from him?

He told me to live with a strong heart all the time.

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Dhawan’s take on Lamichhane

I met Sandeep in Australia as well. Its a big thing that a Nepali youth is playing in almost all the big franchise leagues all over the world. I know that he has become a source of inspiration for the Nepali youth. Not only for his generation but also for the future stars he has ignited high hopes. I am very happy that he is doing all these things. If we are to talk about his game, he is gaining maturity every single day. He is very talented and did very well in the Australian Big Bash League. I believe that he is going to give his best for Delhi Capitals. He bowled really well in today’s practice match. I am sure that his game will continue to improve with each match.

Published: 22-03-2019 10:45

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