Mavuta grate­ful to Tahir for men­tor­ship

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

AF­TER Zimbabwe’s 34-run loss to South Africa in the first Twenty20 In­ter­na­tional cricket match at Buf­falo Park in East Lon­don last Tues­day, one could not help but no­tice Pro­teas leg spin­ner Im­ran Tahir hand­ing out tips to his Chevrons coun­ter­part Bran­don Mavuta.

It is not some­thing that is usual for any sports star to share their se­crets to suc­cess with the op­po­si­tion, which makes those few min­utes Tahir spent with Mavuta so ex­tra­or­di­nary.

The Pak­istan-born Tahir had just been named man of the match af­ter pick­ing up five wick­ets for 23 runs in four overs to lead his adopted coun­try to vic­tory over their neigh­bours. Soon af­ter col­lect­ing his award, Tahir made his way back to the mid­dle to give some tips on the art of leg spin bowl­ing to a keen Mavuta. For over 10 min­utes, an at­ten­tive Mavuta was taken through the skill of leg spin.

Mavuta ex­plained that he had re­quested Chevrons coach Lalc­hand Ra­jput to ar­range for him to put him in touch with Tahir since he was ea­ger to meet the vet­eran.

“I had a word with my coach, I’ve al­ways wanted to have a chat with him and tell me more about our art, the coach helped me to get in con­tact with him and we had a word while we were com­ing to Paarl at the air­port, he is so gen­er­ous and he man­aged to give me his num­ber,’’ Mavuta said.

The two went on to chat with the Mavuta re­quest­ing a ses­sion af­ter the match so he could learn more about leg spin. Mavuta feels for­tu­nate to have spent time with Tahir on the pitch af­ter the match.

“I was quite priv­i­leged on that day that he man­aged to spare some time for me, to share with me what he knows and I am re­ally grate­ful and I hope it will play a mas­sive role in my bowl­ing as well,’’ he said.

Mavuta feels that he ben­e­fit­ted a lot from the ses­sion he had with Tahir as he got all the queries he had about the art of leg spin bowl­ing an­swered.

“I learnt a lot, I think all the ques­tions I had, he man­aged to give me an­swers.”

On what was the best ad­vice he got from Tahir, Mavuta said the mas­ter of leg spin told him that if bats­men do not read him fast in the in­ter­na­tional game, he will be suc­cess­ful.

“The great­est thing that he said to me was his views in terms of my bowl­ing, there were pos­i­tive any­way, he told me that as soon as bats­men are un­able to read you quickly then you will dom­i­nate in in­ter­na­tional cricket. I took those words and I am go­ing to work on my­self, I be­lieve there is al­ways room for im­prove­ment,’’ Mavuta said.

For Mavuta, the tough­est job of be­ing a leg spin­ner in the in­ter­na­tional is the pre­ci­sion, which he says plays a huge role.

“I think the ac­cu­racy it comes to play a lot, as a leg spin­ner it’s an art that you need to bowl and bowl day in day out so that you be­come more ac­cu­rate, the more you bowl the more you be­come ac­cu­rate. Ac­cu­racy has a mas­sive role in leg spin,’’ he said.

Mavuta has been a rev­e­la­tion on this tour to South Africa as he has played like a vet­eran yet be­fore com­ing here, he had just played one in­ter­na­tional match, a T20I against Aus­tralia in July at Harare Sports Club.

Last Tues­day, “Rango” picked up one wicket for 19 runs in four overs at a bril­liant econ­omy rate of 4.75 per over. The wicket he got on the night was no or­di­nary one as he out­foxed South African skip­per Faf du Plessis, Tendai Chisoro with the catch at deep cover. Not only did he get rid of the South African skip­per but he got him with the first ball he bowled.

Mavuta went on to show his all round abil­ity with a brave 28 off 14 in a 53 run fourth wicket part­ner­ship with Peter Moor, with the young­sters bring­ing Zimbabwe closer in the run chase.

The for­mer Un­der-19 cap­tain is work­ing as hard on his bowl­ing as he is do­ing with his bat­ting with his de­sire be­ing to be­come one of the best all-rounders in the in­ter­na­tional game.

Af­ter that ses­sion with Tahir, Mavuta is not promis­ing im­me­di­ate changes since leg spin is an art that takes time to come out.

One thing for sure, the Kadoma-born Mavuta has made an im­pact on this tour and has made it dif­fi­cult for the se­lec­tors to even con­sider drop­ping him go­ing for­ward.

— @Mdaw­ini_29

Im­ran Tahir hand­ing out tips to Bran­don Mavuta

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