IPL 2024: Abhishek Sharma ‘didn’t know’ he will bowl against Rajasthan in Qualifier 2

Chennai, May 25 (IANS): Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) all-rounder Abhishek Sharma didn't know if he would bowl in Qualifier 2 for his team against Rajasthan Royals, but he was ready for the challenge. Despite having bowled only three overs in IPL 2024 before this crucial match, Abhishek delivered a match-winning spell of 2 for 24, propelling SRH into the IPL final.

"To be honest, I didn't know I will bowl this match but I was very much ready with my bowling because I've been working really hard on my bowling," Abhishek said post-match. "The last two years it's been really good with my batting so I wanted to work on my bowling with my dad. So special mention to my dad."

Shahbaz (3-23) and Abhishek (2-24) collectively bowled nine overs, conceding only 57 runs on a pitch that became dry, and with dew not there, the duo made merry to take five wickets collectively and triggered an RR batting meltdown to beat them by 36 runs.

“Patty (Pat Cummins) used the spinners really well. There was more turn in the second innings. (No dew, that's why more part-time spin) I think it's the pressure that I've put on our team in the practice session that's why maybe I got a chance (smiles). But Shahbaz and I did well. (IPL 2024 for him) It came from Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. We won the Trophy for Punjab and the momentum came from there. I had confidence for this season from the conversations in the meetings where the batters were given freedom." (Final) It is one of my dreams to play the IPL final, it is coming true this year."

While Abhishek had a stellar season with the bat, amassing 482 runs at a striking rate of 207.75 and hitting a record 42 sixes for an Indian batter in any IPL season, it was his left-arm spin that shone under the Chennai lights. Against RR's middle order, he took two crucial wickets, including Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer, and did not concede a boundary in his first three overs.

Abhishek was the sixth bowler called upon by SRH as the Chennai pitch began to offer significant turn without the interference of dew. His success was foreshadowed by his performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he bowled 20 overs in Punjab's victorious campaign.

"When I saw the starting XI, I knew he's [Abhishek] going to bowl today," Varun Aaron remarked on ESPNcricinfo's Time Out show. "He's a really good bowler. I've seen a lot of him in domestic cricket. He's one of those bowlers who tosses it up a little bit, more than the others. He bowls that carrom ball which comes out from the front of the hand, that was a really good ball."

Aaron highlighted Abhishek's enthusiasm and ability to adapt, noting that he consistently sought opportunities to bowl in domestic matches to stay involved in the game. This versatility makes him a valuable asset, especially since India lacks specialist batters who can also bowl in limited-overs cricket.

Tom Moody added, "He backs himself 100%. Yes, he doesn't bowl as much as he needs to bowl in domestic cricket for whatever reasons but for the future of Indian cricket he needs to be bowling because he is a serious package to be reckoned with. [Bats] at the top of the order, someone who can bowl left-arm spin whatever the format, he's going to be a real asset going forward."




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Title: IPL 2024: Abhishek Sharma ‘didn’t know’ he will bowl against Rajasthan in Qualifier 2

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