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IPL 2019 | Made the Most of Ball Gripping on Surface: Gurney

"I was definitely not (expecting to play). This is the best T20 competition in the world, so there were a few butterflies this afternoon in the hotel when I had a reasonable idea that I was going to be playing."

Cricketnext Staff |April 8, 2019, 8:12 AM IST
IPL 2019 | Made the Most of Ball Gripping on Surface: Gurney

The 12th season of IPL so far been one for the debutants. After Alzarri Joseph and Jonny Bairstow set the stage alight for their respective franchises on debut, it was Englishman Harry Gurney's turn to shine in his very first game for Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday (April 7).

On a sluggish Sawai Mansingh surface against Rajasthan Royals, Gurney used all his variations well to return impressive figures of 2/25 from his four overs and was named Man of the match for his efforts.

A left-arm pacer who is well renowned for his off-pace deliveries and slower cutters, Gurney has travelled all over the world making quite a name for himself. However, despite his rich experience of 103 first-class games and 125 T20s, the 32-year-old admitted there were a few butterflies in his stomach before taking the field.

"I was definitely not (expecting to play). This is the best T20 competition in the world, so there were a few butterflies this afternoon in the hotel when I had a reasonable idea that I was going to be playing," said Gurney at the post-match press conference.

"I always get nervous before my first game in any competition and today was obviously my IPL debut, so nice to get a decent performance under the belt. Looking forward to the rest of the competition now."

The surface in Jaipur was in some ways tailor-made for Gurney's style of bowling. His slow cutters held onto the surface a lot more making shot making a huge task. Talking about his approach, the left-armer said that the way his cutters were gripping, he decided quite early in his spell that taking pace off the ball was the way to go forward.

"Just to walk on it and look into it, the pitch looked dry. So, quite early on in my spell, I think it was my first couple of balls I bowled, I saw a bit of purchase. So, I knew for the rest of the match a majority of the balls I bowl will be cutters. And thankfully the ball gripped quite a bit," said Gurney.

In all, Gurney has picked up 147 wickets in 125 T20s at an average of 22.78 and economy of 7.70. He is coming off a good stint at the Big Bash League and Pakistan Super League which he insists has helped him come into the IPL with confidence.

"The more experience you get around the world, playing against the best in the world, the better you get. The winter, I am coming off the back has held me in good stead," Gurney remarked.

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Rank Team Points Rating
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2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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