Calcutta/Chennai: Ashok Dinda was watching Sholay when The Telegraph caught up with him over phone in Chennai on Saturday.
“It’s my favourite… I love watching it,” Dinda sounded relaxed. Otherwise, from the day East Zone arrived in the southern city, for the Duleep Trophy final against Central Zone, scheduled to begin on Sunday, it has been quite a damp squib. It has been raining for the last couple of days and thanks to the poor practice facilities at Chepauk’s indoor complex, the East Zone side could not have any training session on Saturday.
“It’s frustrating,” Dinda said. “Thankfully the Playstation was there to keep me engaged,” Dinda was laughing. “I played Fifa 13 during the day… And, now watching my favourite Amitabh Bachchan film. It helps me relaxed,” he said.
It’s good that the man on whose shoulders rests East Zone’s hopes of retaining the Duleep Trophy is not under pressure to deliver. “I am staying calm. Really upbeat about our chances. Though I didn’t get a chance to see the wicket, I’m banking on my good form and I hope to make an impact.”
The Dinda threat was very much evident when Mohammed Kaif was asked about his team’s chances.
“We need to play Dinda well if we want to win the match. He bowled 40-50 overs in one innings last time also. He can bowl long spells. So he is the dangerman… The opening partnership will be very important. We have to build a solid foundation,” Kaif said.
Central’s strength is their batting. The key batsmen for Central are Robin Bist, who was the highest run-scorer last season, the prolific Ashok Menaria, Kaif himself and glovesman Mahesh Rawat.
Rain is expected to come into the picture as there are predictions of thundershowers.
Asked if there is any special strategy, Kaif said: “There’s a lot of time. It’s going to be five plus one day..”
In the last edition, East had thrashed Central to win their maiden Duleep Trophy. Dinda is aware of the fact that Kaif & Co. will be eyeing a revenge but he is not losing his sleep over that.
“We need to keep things simple. We need to play to our strengths. We are not thinking whether Central will take revenge or not. We are focusing on our game only. We want to prove 2011 was no fluke… We are hungry for success,” Dinda said.