Friend: Zimbabwe colt is ready to fire

Published: Friday, November 10, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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Indore: One cricketer from Zimbabwe who caught the imagination of critics and players in the recently concluded Coca Cola trophy in Sharjah wasundoubtedly Travis Friend, the tall, lanky medium fast bowler from Zimbabwe.

His high action, speed and ability to lift the ball from the good length spotwas a revelation and all the Indian batsmen who faced him were taken bysurprise by this unknown fellow. Yes this was the arrival of 19-year-old Travis Friend on the international cricket scenario.

While the focus of the Zimbabewean bowling will undoubtedly be on their skipper Heath Streak, Friend has shown a lot of promise in the few matches that he has played so far. He thus holds hope for Zimbabwe in the future. "I don't bother about which batsman I bowl to," Friend told Thatscricket.com in an exclusive interview. The following is an excerpt of the interview:

Are you satisfied with the way you began your career?

Yes, It was a great feeling. I know that I was going to bowl to some of thebest batsmen in the modern game and really it was a fantastic experience.

Were you concerned about the awesome status of Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly when you bowled to them?

Not really. Actually, I was told that I was going to bowl to them and others. So I was very much prepared, mentally and physically and to bevery frank I really don't bother who the batsman is that I'm going to bowl to. Ultimately what counts is your performance at the end of the day and what you have achieved.

Were you worried about your performance in the slog overs when you conceded too many runs?

Yes, that is one area on which I have to work upon. I know it has happened because of my inexperience and I am still in the learning process and this is happening in the beginning of my career and I take my mistakes very positively.

Have you spoken to your coach about this aspect?

Yes, we did have a discussion on that aspect and he gave me a bit of advice and I think time will come when I will be a better bowler in the slog overs.

What is your plus-point as a fast bowler?

I like to extract bounce from the wicket all the time. I think no batsman loves to play short-pitched stuff if you are bowling on the right line and length. I like to hit the seam and I think I got some early success bowling in that manner.

Have you given thought to the art of swing bowling?

Yes, right now I am not swinging the ball to a great extent. I do know how important it is for a fast bowler to swing the ball as well. I will definitely pick that up as I begin to gain in international exposure and experience.

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