As Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) took on LSG in Lucknow on May 1, tempers flared and the two players had a go at each other on more than one occasion. Naveen had walked away and declined KL Rahul’s offer to accord truce with Kohli after the match.
Fans of Kohli have wasted no opportunity to use chant Kohli’s to sledge and demotivate Naveen, However, the 23-year-old quick has used the same to motivate and do well for his team.
“I enjoy it (chanting),” Naveen said in the post-match press conference. “I like that everybody in the ground is chanting his name, or any other player’s name. It gives me passion to play well for my team.
“I don’t concentrate on the outside noise. I just focus on my own cricket. It’s not like if the crowd is chanting or anyone is saying something… it doesn’t affect me. As professional sportsmen you have to take it in your stride.
“One day you will not do your best for the team and these fans are going to give it to you. On another day, you’ll do a special thing for your team and the same people are going to chant your name,” Naveen said after the match.
Naveen picked four wickets for 38 runs in four overs against Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL 2023 Eliminator on Wednesday. He dismissed Rohit Sharma, Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma to help LSG restrict MI to 182/8.
He celebrated the wickets by putting two fingers in his ears, symbolically drowning out the noise from the crowd.
Overall, he picked 11 wickets in eight matches at an average of 19.89. Reflecting on the season, Naveen said he gained experience and learnt quite a few things during his IPL 2023 stint with LSG but added that the main goal was to win the trophy and the team could have done better.
“You assess the conditions. You see the conditions, what they offer. I think the pitch was offering a bit of help. It wasn’t like we were bowling 3-4 slower ones in an over but just to keep the batters guessing, you have to vary your pace and vary your line and length,” he said.
It comes with T20, it’s a fast format and you have to adjust quickly and be a step ahead of the batter. To be honest, it [his season] was good. We could’ve done better as a team. Individual performances don’t count.
At the end of the day, our team goal was to win the trophy. My individual performance comes second. It was a good season for me, I learnt quite a few things from this IPL and hopefully [I’ll] come back stronger,” Naveen concluded.
LSG crashed out of the IPL 2023 as they lost to Mumbai Indians by 81 runs. Chasing 183, the side got bundled out for 101 in 16.3 overs.
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