Vinay gears up for 'weird' experience

Bought by IPL’s new entrants in the auction, the former Royal Challengers paceman has been Tuskers’ most prolific wicket-taker (11 from 10 matches) this season, playing a crucial role in his latest side’s fine run in IPL IV.

Having served RCB with distinction for the last three years, the 27-year-old will be turning up against his former team in Sunday’s match, in their and his own backyard.

“This is the place (Chinnaswamy stadium) where I used to have the crowd behind me whenever I came on to bowl but I feel a bit strange that the same people will not be supporting me tomorrow,” said Vinay as he readied himself for what he called a ‘weird’ experience.

It’s not the first time Vinay is coming up against RCB; he did so in Kochi in their first match. “I didn’t feel this weird in the opening match, maybe because it was in Kochi. Also, there are not many players in the Bangalore side that I played with,” he pointed out.

But in Bangalore, Vinay agrees, it will be a different scenario. “I feel like playing against Karnataka, which I lead in domestic competitions. It’s strange, but I can’t help it. We are all professionals and I knew this (change in team) was one of the possibilities.

“Saying that, initially it was a bit difficult for me to digest the fact that I would no longer be playing for RCB but once I went there (Kochi) and joined the group, I slowly slipped into the mix.”

Vinay is relishing the bigger role he has been entrusted with by his new team. “As far as the captaincy of Mahela Jayawardene is concerned, it’s not too dissimilar to Anil Kumble’s. Mahela too has given the freedom to express myself.

“He gives me the field I want and tells me that I am responsible for what I do. I sort of like it because this was what I was missing in RCB.

“There were quite a few international bowlers in RCB when I played for them. There was Dale Steyn, Zaheer Khan (in the first season), Anil and Praveen Kumar... I mostly played the supporting role to them.

“But here, I am one of the main bowlers and I like being in the forefront. The team management has great trust in me and that fires me up to do well,” he noted.

What does he make of the prospect of bowling to Chris Gayle? “Well, obviously he has been in great form but I won’t lose any sleep thinking too much about him.

“I’ll concentrate on my strengths rather than fret too much about what he can do. I am just hoping for a good game.”

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