Pune: After watching AB de Villiers from close quarters as he smashed a 38 ball 66 against Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League Eliminator on Wednesday night, Mandeep Singh says he has learnt a lot from the South African including how to keep one's head still while playing a shot.
"There are a lot of things that I try to do like A.B. I want to have my head still the way he does in each shot. I have learnt a lot from him already and whatever he has taught me, I have straightaway incorporated those things in my game.
"It is already helping me in my game and I can see a lot of positive results in my batting," Mandeep was quoted as saying by iplt20.com on Thursday after he and de Villiers had shared a 113-run partnership in the game against the Royals.
"I have worked on the balance of my head. Initially when I was playing my shots, the completion of the shot would end with my head leaning towards the off-stump. I spoke to him regarding the same and asked him for suggestions to improve that aspect. I initially used to think that the arms go wider while playing your shots and that's the reason your head tends to fall," he said.
"He cleared that cloud around me and asked me to have my head still around the middle stump after the completion of a shot. These are very technical details but these are the things that I have learnt and am trying to improve on," he said.
Against the Royals, Mandeep remained unbeaten on 54 from 34 balls to help his side post a formidable 180/4 which Rajasthan failed to chase down.
"This half century is very satisfying because we wanted to get a score of 150 plus on this pitch and I was happy to stay there right till the very end," he said.
"De Villiers and I thought that anything around 150 would be great and finishing on 180 was very satisfying. I think the occasion of this innings makes it a lot more valuable."
"Getting an important knock in the eliminator is really heartening because it was a big occasion. I feel I played really well in this game," he said.
Speaking about sharing batting space with de Villiers in the century stand, Mandeep said: "When we were just around 60 runs in 10 overs, we just wanted to bat and try to build a partnership from there on. We wanted to keep things simple and watch the ball closely and hit it.
"I knew if A.B. spent a little more time in the middle, he would get ruthless in the end. I had the confidence that A.B. would see us through."
Mandeep added""I think even modern day cricketers consider him his idol. It is like a dream come true to be playing with him."