How Yuvraj Singh's 'can be better bowler than me' words sparked Abhishek Sharma's heroics in SRH's win vs RR | Crickit
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How Yuvraj Singh's 'can be better bowler than me' words sparked Abhishek Sharma's heroics in SRH's win vs RR

May 25, 2024 04:19 PM IST

Abhishek Sharma dismissed Sanju Samson and Impact Player Shimron Hetmyer as the RR were restricted to 139 for seven in 20 overs.

Sunrisers Hyderabad had a rare weapon in their arsenal, until it was unleased to its full capacity on Friday, on the sluggish Chepauk track to script Rajasthan Royals' collapse in the Qualifier 2 tie of the ongoing IPL 2024. Abhishek Sharma has so far made a name for himself as a destructive opener in the format with 482 runs in 15 matches at a breathtaking strike rate of 207. But in the match against the Royals, Abhishek put on an all-round show he displayed his off-spin bowling abilities that fetched him two crucial wickets in SRH's 36-run win to reach the final.

Abhishek Sharma picked two crucial wickets in match against RR
Abhishek Sharma picked two crucial wickets in match against RR

As the game approached, the team made a strategic decision to utilise Abhishek's left-arm spin-bowling talent, which had been sparingly used in three overs across 14 matches. This decision proved to be a masterstroke on Friday, as captain Pat Cummins and head coach Dan Vettori deployed him for a full quota of four overs. This move created a perfect combination with Shahbaz Ahmed, with the pair picking five wickets between themselves.

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Abhishek did not just dismiss RR captain Sanju Samson for just 10 runs, but also got rid of Impact Player Shimron Hetmyer as the 2008 champions were restricted to 139 for seven in 20 overs.

After the match, the SRH star revealed how India legend Yuvraj Singh's words inspired him to put on that stellar bowling show. Abhishek is mentored by Yuvraj, who possesses similar skills which helped India lift the 2011 ODI World Cup at home. Yuvraj was later named the Player of the Tournament for his all-round efforts.

"Whenever I had conversation about bowling with Yuvi paaji, he always said I can be a better bowler than him," Abhishek said in a video on the IPL website after the match. "That thing I always had in my mind. I think he will be happy as well that I could contribute with bowling."

Interestingly, Abhishek's father, Raj Kumar, was also a left-arm spin bowler back in his playing days.

"I think my dad will be very happy because he was a left-arm spinner and he has been working really hard on my bowling. But somehow I knew that if I keep working on my bowling, I can do something for my team because I have that in myself, I would say. From junior cricket only, I have been bowling a lot and taking a few wickets."

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