Vettori backs Zaheer to fire

Zaheer is the second-highest wicket-taker for Bangalore with eight scalps but has also conceded 8.41 runs an over. “If you look at the games against Delhi (he took the wicket of David Warner early) and Pune (when he dismissed Yuvar Singh), he has done well for us.

With the quality he brings to the attack, he is an extremely important bowler for us. Besides myself, he is the most experienced bowler in the side,” he pointed out here on Tuesday, ahead of RCB’s match against Rajasthan Royals.

Talking about Chris Gayle’s impact on the side, Vettori said: “He has scored a lot of runs at an extremely rapid strike-rate. The way he gets the runs, he puts a lot of pressure on the opponents. Besides, he has been chipping in with crucial wickets that has made a big difference to us.”

Though happy with bowlers’ show, the Kiwi felt they will be tested every time they step on to the field. “If you look at the Pune game, we did well to defend the target. There are so many quality batsmen around (in IPL) that every time you come out to bowl, you are going to be tested. The key is to maintain that intensity,” he reasoned.

Fielding, Vettori admitted, had seen a big improvement. “It’s definitely improved through the tournament. If you look at our losses, lack of intensity in fielding was one of the main reasons for those results. We have improved a lot now and along with some quality batting and bowling, fielding has played an important role in our wins. As a captain, I look at fielders to give it their all. They have been doing so in all these games but the important thing is to maintain those standards,” he observed.

The left-arm spinner also stayed clear of the raging controversy regarding pitch preparation following Shane Warne’s open displeasure over the nature of the pitch during Royals’ game against Chennai Super Kings here on Monday. ‘I never ask for a particular wicket. We just turn up on the match-day and form our strategies based on our assessment of the pitch,” he quipped.

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