| Anjum Chopra, at the KKR practice,
on Friday. A Telegraph picture |
Calcutta: The Eden pitch has drawn flak for the last one year. From the captains of the Indian Premier League (IPL) teams to international players, everyone has expressed dissatisfaction on the slowness of the Eden strip.
However, Kolkata Knight Riders’ Ryan ten Doeschate is not one to criticise the wicket. In fact, he was surprised on Friday when he learnt that India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had termed the pitch ‘ugly looking’ during India’s last T20 match against England in October.
Ryan took a dig at Dhoni saying that the strip at the MA Chidambaran Stadium, the Chennai Super Kings’ home ground, is slower than the one at the Eden.
“I think every team play to their strengths. We’ll want the pitch to be such that we enjoy the home advantage.
“I am a bit surprised to learn that Dhoni, being the captain of the team, called the pitch ‘ugly looking’. I think the Chennai pitch is the slowest in the country,” Ten Doeschate said after KKR’s practice session at the Eden.
On a different note, the Dutch international, who played only six matches for KKR in last season, hoped that he gets more opportunities this time.
“See, I always give my best in whatever matches I play. I don’t think about the number of matches. But I definitely hope that I will get to play more in this season’s IPL,” Ryan said.
Speaking about his team’s chances in the IPL-V, Ryan said: “The team had done quite well last year. We had met most of the goals, which we had set last season. This time, we’ll come harder at our opponents and push further to qualify for the final. We’ve already had a strong base… With the latest acquisitions in Sunil Narine and James Pattinson, the team has more variety.”
Ryan also lauded the KKR team management’s decision to appoint renowned sports psychologist Rudi Webster as mental skills coach. “He will be attending each of the guys individually. His job would be to prepare us in the best frame of mind besides ensuring we’re at the right mental stage before taking the field.”
Moving from the franchise-based T20 league to international cricket, Doeschate has proved to be the cynosure for his country’s cricket. He has scored two centuries for Holland in the last World Cup — one against Ireland at the Eden and the other against England, at Nagpur.
But he missed The Netherlands’ World T20 qualifiers as he went to play a T20 league in South Africa. But he does not regret on missing out on the qualifiers.
“It is a disappointment to miss out on a berth in the T20 World Cup. But I’ve no regrets for not representing my country in that competition. I think there is more scope to learn if I play in the domestic leagues in different countries.
Meanwhile, Anjum Chopra, the captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, was present in KKR’s practice session. She was seen having a chat with Webster.