ILT20 Dhoni advised me to always stay calm and believe in myself, says MI Emirates Zadran ahead of key clash

Abu Dhabi, Jan 28 : Afghanistan star Najibullah Zadran is confident that MI Emirates have learnt from their defeat to Desert Vipers and are ready for the return fixture in DP World ILT20 here on Sunday. Zadran is looking forward to the advice he received from Indian legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni to help him excel in his role as a finisher for MI Emirates, a role he performed well when the two teams met last time. MI Emirates will be looking to register their fourth win in the inaugural ILT20 when they take on the Desert Vipers in a crucial game. The last time the two teams met, MI Emirates had lost despite putting up an extremely brave fight at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Zadran said the MI Emirates have learnt their lesson from that loss and are thirsting for revenge in the return fixture. "All matches are important. The target is to reach the top 2 at the moment. The focus remains on winning all the games from here on. I am confident of the team getting over the line," he said. Zadran had created quite a sensation at the ILT20 when he came in at number 6 to smash 30 runs off just 9 balls against Dubai Capitals on January 22. Although in a losing cause, that exciting innings established Zadran as one of the stars of the tournament. Back to his happy hunting ground in Sharjah, Zadran is looking forward to using his vast knowledge of the pitches at the venue. "I love playing in Sharjah, it's our home ground. I have played a lot in Sharjah, where you have two kinds of pitches. The ball stays low on one of the pitches but in the other, you have the license to play your shots, also with shorter boundaries, it's a delight playing in Sharjah," he said. The 29-year-old all-rounder, regards the legendary M.S. Dhoni as his idol, and has put insights learnt from the former India wicketkeeper into his game and is confident of producing similar efforts consistently. "I regard Dhoni as my idol. No one can finish an innings like he used to do. I learnt from him. I spoke to Dhoni at the 2015 World Cup, where he told me to just keep calm and believe in myself even in high-pressure situations. I still believe and follow that advice," he said. The MI Emirates are currently third in the table with seven points from six matches. They have won three of those matches and another victory on Sunday will see them leapfrog the Vipers to second place. /IANS


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