In his short, five-month stint at the top level, Barinder Sran has already come a full circle. Hailed as the next Zaheer Khan after an impressive three-wicket haul on his debut in January, the left-arm seamer was banished soon after, following ordinary performances in a couple of games.
A niggle in his left shoulder that inexplicably worsened, leaving a major scar tissue, compounded the problems.
But a month-long rehab and strengthening programme at the National Cricket Academy, followed by a good season with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL has catapulted Sran back into the India team.
“The IPL (where he picked 14 wickets in as many games) was great for me and my team. After Ashish Nehra got injured, the responsibility was on me to give critical breakthroughs to the team,” Sran told Hindustan Times.
“I will never forget how our captain David Warner ran up to me when I had bowled Virat Kohli in the final. He said, ‘mate you have won us the Cup’.”
Interestingly, Warner was his second dismissal on his ODI debut at Perth.
While the spotlight was on Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rehman and Nehra, Sran did his bit for SRH. With his height and high-arm action, he generated plenty of bounce and pace.
“As I was coming off a shoulder injury, I was a bit worried. But after a couple of games I settled in. The management (which paid Rs 1.2 crore for him) said I had stepped up after Nehra pulled out due to injury. I am happy I didn’t let them down. I hope, in Zimbabwe, I can bowl just the way I did on my India debut in Australia,” said the 23-year old, who incidentally was training to be a boxer in his schooldays.
Sran idolises Wasim Akram and has taken a few tips from him. Watching the world-class SRH bowlers respond differently in different conditions has also been a learning experience.
Sran stresses fast bowling is all about the rhythm and having bowled so much during the IPL will be an advantage ahead of the Zimbabwe tour. “The pitches in Zimbabwe will be soft and I will have to adjust my length. I can’t let this chance go,” he signed off. India play three ODIs and three T20Is in Harare between June 11 and 22.