To the surprise of many, the Daredevils yesterday ignored To the surprise of many, the Daredevils yesterday ignored South African duo of Imran Tahir and JP Duminy on a slow Eden surface but Zaheer said he is happy with the team combination. “Duminy was not available. But were happy with the combination. Theres no second thoughts on it. It was a tough day and we accept that,” he said. Quinton de Kock and Mayank Agarwal had given Daredevils a brisk start , putting up 23 runs in just two overs before Andre Russell (3/24) sparked the collapse with a twin breakthrough, while John Hastings (2/6) tightened the screws at the other end. Later, spin duo of Brad Hogg (3/19) and Piyush Chawla (2/21) made it all the more difficult as the Daredevils batsmen struggled to build a partnership. “Sometime you do get caught up in the T20 format. Thats what happens while batting first, you always chase that big number. These things can happen. You learn new things every day. Im very confident our young batting side will go a long way in this tournament. Im very happy with the way we have prepared this season. We will come good definitely. Scores will come Ive full faith in our batters,” Zaheer said. He also lauded KKR bowlers for their superb show. “They hit the right areas and held it together. Im happy to see this kind of wicket. You have to give credit where its deserved. After the first two overs, KKR bowlers really, really held it together and put pressure back on us,” Zaheer said. Making a comeback after a year, Zaheer, who last played competitive cricket in 2015 IPL, said he was happy to be back. “Its good to be back. I was trying a bit too much but you learn everyday. I was out there on the field after a long time. With a low total to defend, you try too much as a bowler. I was looking for that extra swing for a left-hander which I was not getting. Overall, Im with happy to be out there,” the former India pace spearhead said. Zaheer also said that Mohammed Shami was fit and available for selection. “Hes (Shami) doing well at the nets. Hes prepared well. Im very confident of him. Hes very positive.” The Daredevils will next play Kings XI Punjab at home on April 15. PTI TAP SSC SSCadvertisement
Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has committed to a full schedule in the second half of the season, saying that he’s had enough of practice and is hoping to quickly recapture his stunning early-season form.Federer, fresh off a two-month break to rest his 35-year-old body, will begin his grass-court campaign and bid for an eighth Wimbledon crown at Stuttgart on Wednesday.”There are no more breaks now,” Federer told the ATP website.”I’ve had enough breaks. I’m a practice world champion now and that’s not who I want to be. I want to be a champ on the match courts. So I’m going to be playing a regular schedule for the second part of the season… And this is the beginning here at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart,” he added.The Swiss maestro has taken the last two months off after what he described as a surprisingly successful start to the year that resulted in victory at the Australian Open and then the Indian Wells- Miami Masters double.”I was terribly surprised to win the Australian Open and to back it up and win the sunshine double in Indian Wells and Miami was a complete surprise to me,” Federer said.The 35-year-old further insisted that Rafael Nadal’s return to clay-court dominance was not unexpected.”I think Rafa winning the French Open is less of a surprise because he’d done it nine times before… I was hoping he was going to dominate the clay-court season like the olden days,” said Federer.advertisementThe Swiss also admitted that Nadal is a hot favourite to finish No. 1 for the fourth time.”Obviously Rafa is in great position to finish World No. 1. For him it’s going to be all about staying injury free. For me it’s about getting back to winning ways, where I left off in Miami,” he said.He, however, insisted that the second half of 2017 season will be much more competitive.”I’m sure a lot of guys are going to start playing their best in the second half of the season, like Murray, Djokovic, Nishikori, Raonic, Zverev, Kyrgios, Stan. We’ll all be playing our best tennis. It’s going to be an epic finish to the end of the season. Quite exciting actually for the ATP Tour,” he added.Federer will begin his Stuttgart Open campaign against the winner of Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert and German veteran Tommy Haas.