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Happy to see my hard work pay off: Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir, South Africa’s leading spinner, expressed delight at his performance in the first Test against India in Mohali, despite conceding an early 1-0 lead in the four-Test series. Tahir felt he arrived in Mohali with a strong belief of reaping dividends and was glad to have his hard work pay off.

“I’m very glad with the way that I performed in the (Mohali) game,” Tahir was quoted saying by cricket.co.za on Tuesday (November 10). “There was probably one patch where I didn’t bowl well, it was towards the end of the second day, but other than that, I went into the game with the big belief that I can do something. I’ve worked hard and I’m happy to see it paying off.”

The drastic change from the nature of tracks offered in ODIs and T20Is to that in Mohali leaves little doubt what the South Africans can expect in the next three Tests at Bangalore, Nagpur and Delhi; but the premier SA spinner Imran Tahir says he is ready to handle the pressure of extra expectations.

On the dusty Mohali track, Tahir’s match haul read 6 for 71, but the legspinner said pressure is there in every international match, irrespective of the venue and conditions.

“The pressure is always there, it doesn’t matter where you play,” Tahir said on Monday. “It’s how you cope with it that will set you apart. There is definitely pressure, everyone expects you to take wickets because it’s turning miles and the Indian spinners are taking wickets,” he added.

Tahir said is primary focus in every outing for his country is to put in his best effort.

“I focus on what I need to do for the team, that is how I challenge myself. I don’t like to look outside of it. At the end of the day, I give my 100 percent for the team, that is satisfying,” he said.

“I’m the guy who believes that whatever I’m playing – be it T20s, ODIs or Test matches. If I give all that I have in me for the Proteas, I will be satisfied.”

Tahir felt the key to taking wickets on India’s spin-friendly tracks is to invite batsmen to play shots.

“The conditions here allow you to spin the ball a little bit more. If you are playing on hard tracks where the ball doesn’t spin much, you are more likely to give batsmen the opportunity to score easily. Here you want to get them to play shots, and try to bowl slowly,” the leggie said.

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