Imran Tahir has rejected the notion that there is extra pressure on him as a leg-spinner just because the World T20 is being played in India.
South Africa play their first group match against England on Friday. Tahir has been a standout performer for them in the shorter formats over the last few years and has a good track record in other major ICC events.
Tahir said while leg-spinners needed a ‘bigger heart’ than other players when bowling, there is no added pressure on him to perform in Indian conditions as opposed to conditions back home, where more is expected of fast bowlers like Dale Steyn.
‘I can’t see any pressure on me,’ said Tahir. ‘Most of the players in the team have been playing good cricket together. I have good communication with the captain. There’s no pressure on me. I’m a free man and pretty happy with where I am.’
He did agree that the role of an off-spinner in the shortest format was to contain the runs while the leg-spinner is generally seen as the attacking option.
‘For me the leg-spinner just needs a bigger heart than anyone else because it’s easy to blame them,’ he said. ‘Nowadays cricket has changed, the bats are bigger, the boundaries are shorter. ‘But you have to back yourself. Have clear plans. That is the most important thing. If you are hit for two boundaries, then obviously you try and hide which I think is not the best way to go forward. Rather be more attack-minded after you are hit for a few boundaries. That is where you need a bigger heart because if you don’t, then you are not going to be successful.’