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Pawan Negi speaks about his disappointment at IPL 9

Pawan Negi on his disappointing IPL 9, Delhi Daredevils' selection policy, his interaction with Suresh Raina on his non-selection

Pawan Negi played for DD in 2012 and 2013, and for CSK in 2014 and 2015

Pawan Negi, who has had a rapid rise and a subsequent fall within a very short time in 2016, spoke about his disappointing time at IPL 2016 in a chat with Asian Age, explaining what his thoughts were as he played such a limited role in the tournament. Negi now stands on very shaky ground, he might be always remembered as the 8.5 crore buy who did not justify his price tag.

The 23-year-old all-rounder was thrust onto the scene with a call to the Indian team for the World T20 earlier this year, and was the costliest Indian purchase at the IPL 9 auctions. The stage had been set for the erstwhile Chennai Super Kings utility player, but the big performance to justify the big build-up is yet to come.

In his only international outing, he conceded 16 runs off 3 overs and took one wicket, against UAE in the Asia Cup. He did not get to feature in the World T20 playing XI, but the IPL promised more opportunities. His outing with Delhi Daredevils, however, was nothing short of a nightmare. Given the fast pace at which players are discovered and obscured in the T20 circuit, Negi would be hoping there is more to this story.

On him getting to bowl only nine overs in 8 matches over the tournament, he said, “Sitting on the bench was hard to digest as I never expected to watch the action from the sidelines. The hardest part was, before every match, I had no clue whether I would play or not. People kept asking me why I didn’t play much. I didn’t have a proper answer.”

Delhi did not back me like Dhoni used to: Negi

Negi’s toughest examination in the IPL was with the bat, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, with a playoff spot at stake. Despite having scored only 51 runs from 5 innings before that, he was pushed above the batting order ahead of Chris Morris and Carlos Brathwaite. Negi failed to connect bat with ball, DD’s run rate plummeted. Negi departed for an excruciating 12-ball 6 off Chris Gayle’s bowling, but the damage had been done. 

On what went wrong for him, Negi said, “I still don’t know. I kept wondering why wasn’t I given more opportunities. And the team management didn’t tell me the reason either. When I was with CSK, Mahi bhai backed my abilities. Maybe, I feel Delhi didn’t back my skills with bat and ball. Maybe, it was a rotation policy, because I was never told that I was dropped.”

His no-show in the IPL has made selectors drop him from the limited-overs India squad being sent to Zimbabwe, and Negi is now looking towards the upcoming Ranji Trophy season to reassure everybody of what he can do.

He did not approach captain Zaheer Khan to know why he was not being selected, as many would have done, but said that he had a chat with Gujarat Lions captain Suresh Raina about his non-participation. 

“I never wanted to go and ask Zaheer ‘Can I bowl?’. He is such an experienced cricketer and he knew his job. When we played against Gujarat, Raina told me not to sulk and kept saying that I can overcome this. Even during my stint with the Indian team, he backed me a lot.”

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