Mumbai: Apr 14, 2012
Delhi Daredevils (DD) pacer Ajit Agarkar doesn't mind playing the waiting game but at the same time is confident of grabbing the opportunity with both hands as and when he gets a chance to play in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
"I haven't played in the tournament. It is a long tournament, so I have to be ready when the opportunity comes.
It will be nice to get an opportunity. But the team is doing well now, so I will wait for my turn," Agarkar told reporters here at a function to announce the IPL franchise's association with UNICEF.
Asked if he had to wait for his turn because of the young speedsters in the team, the former India player said, "it is always nice to have some competition in the set-up. I will wait for my opportunity and try and grab it when I get it."
Lauding the team's performance this time around after finishing with the wooden spoon last year, he said, "the tournament has been quite good. We have won two and lost one.
So it has been a good start, a much better start than what we had last year. It is still an early part in the tournament, there is still a long way to go."
Agarkar, who became the Mumbai team captain for the limited overs part of the just-concluded domestic season, admitted that it was strange to play against Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL, but he has come to terms with it.
"This is still Mumbai Indians. There are one or two players in the team that I play day in and day out with. To be at the Wankhede (Stadium) and play against the home team was a little bit different.
"I have played against them twice or thrice in the IPL so it is not different anymore. Maybe the first time it felt a little bit strange, but I haven't played for Mumbai (Indians) in any of the seasons, so it is not different anymore," he said ahead of the Daredevils clash with MI on April 16.
On the prospects of youngsters from Mumbai cricket proving their mettle in the T20 event, Agarkar said it's going to be a good learning experience for them.
"This is such a big platform to gain exposure and experience against the top players in the world. If they can do well then obviously it is going help Mumbai cricket in the future and Indian cricket going forward. Ajinkya (Rahane of Rajasthan Royals) has been doing very well for a few years now. So I feel very happy."
Agarkar further said the international players have provided solidity to the Daredevils' batting department.
"Two or three really big and important players have joined us. So it obviously helps boost their confidence and quality. Only David Warner (of Australia) is missing now.
"Ross Taylor (of New Zealand) is here but he hasn't played yet. Warner is a big player. Especially in this format of the game he can be destructive. But we have other players as well who are doing well. It is not about individual. At the end of the day in T20, you have to play well as a team, it doesn't matter how many big names you have," he said.
The inclusion of England's Kevin Pietersen, Taylor and Sri Lankan veteran Mahela Jayawardene, have added muscle to the Daredevils batting.
"I am proud to be part of a team that is associated with UNICEF," Agarkar said about the Daredivils' partnership to support and protect the adolescent girls in the country.
As part of the association, the players will wear blue ribbon symbolising the girl empowerment movement and some proceeds from the ticket and merchandise sales will also go into this cause, a team spokesperson said.
The Delhi franchise will partner UNICEF for three years after the current season ends.
"We don't want to limit ourselves during the two months of IPL. GMR Sports (the owner of Delhi Daredevils) will have this association with UNICEF when we launch our gully cricket and televised sessions on cricket," the spokesperson added. (PTI)