Fielding and athleticism on the field is what Mandeep Singh has always showed on the field. The Royal Challengers Banglore middle order player has come across as someone who has what it takes to make big and has been scoring a lot for Punjab in the domestic circuit. However, the performances have not resulted in an Indian team call up.
He recently talked about his game and all things cricket in an interview with Sportskeeda and also talked about how it was like playing under Virat Kohli and alongside AB de Villiers, again.
Mandeep rues inconsistency that he believes didn't help RCB's cause in IPL 2018. He said, "I think lack of consistency. Be it batting or bowling, we were never consistent, both departments never clicked together and this was one of the reasons why we couldn’t make it to the qualifiers. Our bowling was not up to the mark in the first half and then towards the later stages, our batting was not consistent"
Mandeep further talked about the pressure of his flexible role in the middle order by saying, "I did not see it as pressure, I took it up as a challenge. I have always played as an opener in T20s, but I was informed immediately after the auctions (by Ashish Nehra) that the team wants me to bat in the middle order. Personally, I feel I have the game to bat at any number. Preparation is the key for me and I made sure I put in the hard yards. My first half was good, but unfortunately the second half I could not do justice to the trust of the team. If I could have scored runs in our last game, we would have made it to the qualifiers, but yes, I lacked consistency this season"
Mandeep was asked about how his experience of batting with AB de Villiers was and he said, "I think he is a great reader of the game and then devises his plan according to the situation. And then, if he is there on the pitch, irrespective of the surface, he will win matches all on his own, such is his game. I remember the match against CSK in Bengaluru when the ball was turning a lot, he made batting look ridiculously easy. He has the skills to adjust according to the different surfaces. If the ball is turning, he unfurls a lot of sweeps to counter it, he backs himself, even if he gets out, he is never fazed"
Mandeep also had the opportunity to work with the batting consultant Gary Kirsten about whom he thinks, "Well, he notices and specifies key areas, very pointed statements, it was fun working with him this season. Like I said, I was struggling to get going in the last few matches, so he sat me down and asked me to go for power and not to worry about getting out. I was dismissed off the slower ball a couple of times, so he bowled to me and we devised new ways to tackle it in the games. He asked me not go for placement against slower balls, but try to hit the ball in front of the wicket with power"
He concluded by finally talking about Virat Kohli and what makes his RCB captain special. He said, "I think it’s his fire to do well in every game, he is fully pumped up before the game or before he comes out to bat and this is his biggest strength. He never wants to play any ball without intent, he never wants to get out in any game. He works really hard on his game and fitness, but his hunger to perform in every game is what keeps him going"
"I have not seen this hunger to succeed in every game in any other player. Back in 2015, AB de Villiers told me that every player has a different technique, but he wanted me to learn this hunger to succeed from Virat in every game"
(Inputs from SportsKeeda)