NEW DELHI: This edition of the IPL hasn’t been kind to spinners. R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja have struggled. But Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner has shown faith in their finger spinner Bipul Sharma despite the fact that he has gone for runs.
In the Eliminator, it was Bipul’s twin sixes in the final over that played a part in Hyderabad’s win. In the second Qualifier too, Bipul’s conventional left-arm spin and then his three lusty sixes helped Warner’s men cross the line.
On Friday, nothing seemed to go right for Bipul till he picked up the wicket of the dangerous-looking Brendon McCulllum with a beautifully deceived delivery.
In his second over, he nearly got a set Dinesh Karthik out but Ben Cutting dropped the catch. Then, in his third over, Aaron Finch scooped at fine-leg but Barinder Sran spilled the catch. Bipul flighted the next delivery and found success with McCullum mistiming it. It could have been a just wicket for Bipul, but as it turned out in the end, it was McCullum’s wicket that broke the Lions’ momentum. The last two matches have helped Bipul get back his identity.
In 2007, when Indian Cricket League (ICL) was founded, 10 players from the Punjab Ranji team sought NOCs from the state and joined the league. Bipul was one of them and joined the Chandigarh Lions.
Two years later, ICL was defunct and all those players including Bipul sought amnesty from their respective states. Luckily, he wasn’t among those who were banned.
But as much as Punjab would have liked him to perform, Bipul failed to impress much and never played for a full season. Since 2010, Bipul played just 25 matches and his record isn’t eye-catching.
In 2013, Bipul joined Himachal Pradesh and his consistency earned him an India A spot. But when KXIP dropped him in 2014, Hyderabad bought him and have persisted with him so far.