'He reminds us of a young Kieron Pollard': Virender Sehwag's huge praise for Indian youngster, backs him to hit T20 ton
- Virender Sehwag feels the 25-year-old batsman has qualities similar to Kieron Pollard and has backed him to score a T20 century soon.
The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League was turning out to be an intriguing season before it was suspended indefinitely by the BCCI due to the growing number of Covid cases inside its bio-bubble. This year, Chennai Super Kings showed tremendous resurgence, while Royal Challengers Bangalore gave them a tough fight for a place at the top of the points table.
As far as individual batting performances go, there were some splendid knocks played. Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson opened his campaign with an innings of 119 against Punjab Kings, followed by Devdutt Padikkal's scintillating 101 not out vs the Royals. Jos Buttler scored his maiden century in T20 cricket – 124 against Sunrisers Hyderabad – becoming the third English cricketer after Kevin Pietersen and Ben Stokes to hit an IPL hundred.
While these were the only three centuries scored in the season, former India batsman Virender Sehwag feels the league could have seen one more ton, and backed Mohammad Shahrukh Khan to register a T20 century in future. Sehwag praised Shahrukh, the Tamil Nadu batsman, who was acquired by PBKS for ₹5.5 crore during the IPL auction, and reckons his batting is a lot reminiscent to big-hitting batsman Kieron Pollard when he first burst onto the IPL scene in 2010.
"He reminds us of a young Pollard, when he had just come into the IPL. Everyone was running after him, because he could just stand and hit sixes off bowlers. Shahrukh has the same quality. Although he has played those little innings and hasn't played a big knock. But the lower you bat in the line-up, there's only so much he can do," Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.
Shahrukh exactly did not set the stage on fire, with scores of 6*, 47, 15*, 22, 13, 0 and 4, but Sehwag feels it has to do with the fact that he bats lower down for PBKS. If given the opportunity to bat higher, Sehwag is confident the youngster will get to a three-figure mark soon. Shahrukh, 25, is yet to score a century in his professional cricket career, with 92* and 69* being his highest scores in First-Class and List-A cricket respectively.
"If he can be given a chance to bat higher, the day he clicks, he could even hit a century. He is the kind of player for whom it doesn't matter what happened the previous ball. Many batsmen thing 'Oh, I got beaten, this one turned'. Those who don't think about the previous ball, they have a higher success rate," Sehwag explained.