Pawan Negi: Nine interesting things to know about the latest Indian all-rounder

When the selection panel of Indian cricket team sat down on Friday to pick the squads for upcoming Asia Cup and ICC World Twenty20 (T20) 2016, they gave a chance to a new face from Delhi. Pawan Negi, who is an efficient all-rounder in the domestic circuit and in Indian Premier League (IPL) will bring depth in both bowling and batting in India’s T20 side. Though he is not yet a big name in India’s cricketing circuit, he has made a name for himself with his exploits in IPL and Champions League T20 (CLT20). Abhishek Kumar introduces India’s next spin-bowling all-rounder by picking out nine facts from his life.

1.  Played T20 before First-Class: Negi belongs to one of the new-age Indian players who made his first domestic appearance in the shortest format and then debuted in First-Class and List A cricket. He made his T20 debut on October 20, 2011 against Himachal Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and then made his First-Class appearance in the same year in November against Haryana.

 

2.  Impactful T20 debut: In his debut T20 match for Delhi against Himachal Pradesh, he scored 21 from 20 balls and took two important wickets of Hemant Dogra and Paras Dogra while conceding only 23 runs in his spell of four overs as Delhi won the match by 30 runs.

 

3.  List A debut: Negi made his debut in List A cricket on March 5, 2012 against Assam in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and bowled an impressive spell of 12 runs from his five overs with one maiden and two wickets.

 

4.  IPL break: Delhi Daredevils (DD) signed up Negi ahead of IPL 2012. This young talent was spotted by team mentor TA Sekhar.

 

5.  Best IPL bowling figures: In his first IPL season, Negi bowled a match-changing spell for DD against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the 43rd match of the tournament. He was given ball when RR were cruising at the score of 56 for no loss in six overs.  He conceded only six runs in his first over and in the next over he scalped the big wicket of Ajinkya Rahane, followed by Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, and Ashok Menaria in his other two overs. Negi took four wickets in four overs giving away only 18 runs.

 

6.  Heroic performance in CLT20 2014 final: Negi played two seasons for DD (2012 & 2013) before being brought by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2014. CSK reached the playoffs but didn’t qualify for the finals in IPL 2014. But in the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014, CSK reached finals and were playing against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Negi bowled a dream spell in that match by taking his first T20 fifer, which included the wickets of Robin Uthappa, Jacques Kallis, Manish Pandey, Ryan ten Doeschate and Suryakumar Yadav. Eventually his performance was overshadowed by Suresh Raina’s century, which helped CSK lift their second CLT20 title.

 

7.  Dhoni’s advice, Part 1: In an interview, Negi spoke about the advice given by MS Dhoni on his batting and said, “he asked me to first see the ball then hit the ball not the bowler.”

 

8.  Dhoni’s advice, Part 2: For bowling, Dhoni asked Negi once to bowl the first over of the match. He was very nervous but Dhoni calmed him with his advice and said, “Think like you are bowling in the middle overs.”

 

9.  The big break: Following his good run in the last domestic season, Negi got his big break when he was selected for India for three T20I match series against Sri Lanka and then for Asia Cup and ICC World T20 2016. Till now, he has not played a single international match and is the only uncapped player in the squad.

(Abhishek Kumar is a cricket devotee currently staffing with Criclife.com. He can be followed at abhicricket.kumar and @abhishekkr2593)