There was complete silence, when the name of Richard Levi’s was called out during the IPL auction in the month of February. The base price being only $50,000, no takers were willing to take the 24–year-old South African cricketer Richard Levi. But, surprisingly there were certain changes that took place over few weeks later, after Richard Levi bashed his way into the records in Hamilton, while playing for South Africa against New Zealand. He brilliantly hit 13 sixes that were top sixes ever done in Twenty20 innings and made it to 100 from 45 balls, which is yet another record. Levi, in his 2nd International innings, finished with 117 from 51 balls. The run rate of South Africa barely went below 10 soon after the first over.
Richard Levi expressed that he was not sad for not being taken in the auction as he just had few good seasons of Twenty20. He was astonished with the fact that he could make it to final list of auction. Following the assault on the unfortunate New Zealand bowlers, it was not at all surprising that he had become the hot commodity, with Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians, these two teams chased his signature. Finally, he chose Mumbai Indians and got an opportunity to open batting with the captain of Mumbai Indians, Little Master Sachin Tendulkar.
Levi said that it is going to be way too amazing to see the crowd cheering, being passionate and praying hard to ensure you do well in the game. It has been a struggle for Mumbai Indians to hunt for an opening partner for Sachin Tendulkar in the IPL with many contenders, who were constantly being rotated for four years. The impact of a destructive opener in 2011 was natural to watch in 2011, when Chris Gayle managed to single handedly turn Royal Challenger’s season around and they were marched towards the finals. It was mainly due to Gayle’s specials during the second play of game that made Mumbai Indians to knock out of the tournament.
Levi making it to 100 has drawn comparisons to Gayle and Levi is quite confident that he can live up to his team’s needs by being the attacking opener. And, Levi believes that the key to achieve victory in the IPL is largely dependent on how quickly he gets accustomed to playing the game in Indian conditions. Although, he did create an edge in this regard by playing in the Champion’s League Twenty20 last year with Cape Cobras. That particular series of match did teach Levi to be more patient as far as the wickets were concerned. The wickets were relatively slower than the wickets of South Africa and also the ball does not bounce much. It will be quite a challenging task to get trained in hot conditions and to manage his body for the seven week tournament in order to succeed in the IPL.
Levi is capable of hitting the ball a long way and through the years, his coaches have never tried changing his way of playing the game. Thus, Levi is making every effort to ensure that he masters the Indian conditions not only to succeed in the IPL but also, he strongly believes that it will make him play in any part of the world, if he masters Indian conditions.
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