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IPL 7: Delhi Daredevils eye Imran Tahir to replace injured Nathan Coulter-Nile

Imran Tahir impressed for South Africa in the ICC World T20 2014 © Getty Images
Imran Tahir impressed for South Africa in the ICC World T20 2014 © Getty Images

By Kushan Sarkar

New Delhi: Apr 28, 2014

With their spin cupboard almost bare in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014, Delhi Daredevils in all likelihood will rope in South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir to bolster their slow bowling department after paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile got injured.

Currently the Daredevils have only two specialist spin bowlers in left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and leg-spinner Rahul Sharma. Tahir was not picked at the auctions but had a fantastic ICC World T20 2014 in Bangladesh where he was one of the top wicket-takers with 12 scalps in the tournament at a very economical average.

Also Tahir’s experience of having plied his trade in T20 cricket in England and South Africa will also come in handy. He has played 12 T20Is, taking 21 wickets. He has also played 91 T20 matches, taking 99 wickets with a decent economy-rate of 6.42.

Coultier-Nile got injured while fielding in Daredevils’ match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) three balls into the match. He was subsequently ruled out for the entire edition of the tournament.

“Tahir is the likely choice as DD is desperately short on their spin department. There were talks of him joining the team in UAE but it has been delayed. Hopefully, it will be cleared in a day or two,” a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official involved with IPL activities told PTI on Monday.

While Delhi captain Kevin Pietersen had always put up brave front about his spin bowling department, Delhi has been a bit short on experience. Left-arm spinner Nadeem has picked up four wickets from five games with an economy rate of shade under eight (7.98 runs per over). He has been decent without being exceptional this season.

The other spinner Rahul Sharma was hammered for 33 runs in three overs in the opening game and never got a look-in in the next four encounters.

Delhi has a decent set of fast bowlers with Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Wayne Parnell along with seamer all-rounders like Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Jimmy Neesham.

With two specialist spinners being the order of the day at the Feroz Shah Kotla when the IPL 7 retuns to India, it looks like a good decision to include the 35-year-old Pakistan-born South African cricketer, who has 36 wickets from 13 Tests. He has also played 13 ODIs taking 26 wickets for the Proteas.

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