Rippon awaits his chance


Chennai : Warming the bench in a winning team is especially tough for a youngster eager to make his mark in the ongoing Champions League T20 tournament, but 20-year old Michael Rippon of Cape Crobras realises that he has a long wait ahead of him.

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With a string of fine performances with Western Province in the under-19 category claiming 24 wickets in three matches, left-arm spinner Rippon is obviously itching to have a go on the sub-continental pitches traditionally known to favour the slow bowlers.

There cannot be a bigger T20 occasion for Rippon than playing in the Cape Cobras’ next game against champions Chennai Super Kings here Wednesday night and showcasing his prowess.

“Yeah, I hope I get picked. Obviously I want to get on to the field and have a game. But we’ve got quite a strong squad, have quite a few national players back in the side.

“I think, it’s all about combination. I don’t think you can play too many spinners, but take a little spin and I am sure I’ll get an opportunity,” said Rippon at a media interaction here Monday.

Cobras started their campaign on a strong note with a seven-wicket win against New South Wales Blues and would be looking to sustain the momentum.

Although the Super Kings lost their opening game to Mumbai by three wickets in a dramatic finish, Rippon was not willing to place big odds against the hosts.

“It is obviously a game of cricket and you have stuff like that happening. But as long as you have a secure game plan and follow it, you will be safe,” he countered a query whether the Super Kings would be under pressure to get back to winning ways.

Rippon pointed out that the wicket was on the slower side and a bit sticky too, making batting that much more a difficult proposition. To this end, Rippon has been spending time with some of the more experienced spinners like Robin Peterson in his team in a bid to fine-tune his craft.

“He is quite experienced. It is nice to feed off him and for him to give you information and help you out about tactics like what you do in a certain situation and stuff. It is very nice to play alongside a player like that,” he said.

Belonging to the rare breed of Chinaman bowlers, Rippon hoped the craft would flourish and felt that it hasn’t become extinct as yet.

“I don’t think it is vanishing. There aren’t many Chinaman bowlers at this level. There’s only me, Paul Adams, Dave Mohammed and Brad Hogg. With the format of Twenty20, you want to dart the ball in and stuff. It would be a very good option for four and five-day cricket. So, I hope there would be a better breed of Chinaman bowlers in the future,” he said.