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ICC World Cup 2019: Give me the ball in any situation and I will say yes: Tahir

By Pti

London, June 1: South Africa's Imran Tahir, who is the first spinner in World Cup history to bowl the first over of a match and also take a wicket, says he is prepared to ball in any situation during the ongoing tournament.

CWC 2019 Special Page | Full Schedule

In South Africa's opener against England, the 40-year-old leg-spinner responded in emphatic style, removing Jonny Bairstow with only the second delivery of the match.

"It was a plan which I had been working on for the last year or so, so I think we knew that it was going to be pretty much a shock for everybody," Tahir was quoted as saying by ICC media.

"But it was great challenge bowling against two top players in world cricket. I was just really pleased the way I came out and I got a wicket for the team and that was our plan which worked," he added.

Although South Africa lost the match by 104 runs, the shock tactic was the highlight for the third-ranked side in the world. Tahir hopes that his captain Faf du Plessis will again turn to him in the upcoming games.

"Whenever I get an opportunity again like that, you know, I won't be the guy who is saying, no to my captain, because I like challenges. I like to think that my captain can give me a ball in any situation and I will be the first guy to say yes.

"I'm not so not sure what's going to happen in the next one, but I'm fully prepared, and I'm going to be ready to be given the ball in any situation," he said.

The Lahore-born spinner is set to make his 100th ODI appearance for South Africa in Sunday's match against Bangladesh here. "It feels really special. I played my first game at the 2011 World Cup and it's been an amazing journey. I always dreamt that, but I never thought I will be here one day playing my 100th game for South Africa, so it's an absolute honour and a privilege being given the opportunity."

Tahir is due to retire from ODI cricket at the end of this summer's competition and he is keen to give his 100 percent before bidding goodbye. "I'm just really grateful to everybody, and I hope that I gave everything that I could for the country."

Under pressure after losing their first match, Tahir believes his teammates are capable of bouncing back. "Look, there is always a pressure when you are representing your country. We have been beaten by the very good England team who have been dominating world cricket for a year or so.

"We are going to learn from our mistakes. There will be a pressure, but we will look forward to the challenge and the pressure," Tahir signed off.

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Story first published: Saturday, June 1, 2019, 21:17 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 1, 2019
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