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Back from ICL, Bipul Sharma finally makes a mark for Sunrisers Hyderabad

Against Gujarat Lions in the second Qualifier, it was Bipul’s conventional left-arm spin that attracted Lions batters to go after him and lose wickets.

ipl Updated: May 28, 2016 12:25 IST
Siddhartha Sharma
Siddhartha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Bipul Sharma,Sunrisers Hyderabad,Gujarat Lions
Sunrisers Hyderabad Bipul Sharma dealt a telling blow in the Qualifier after he dismissed dangerous Brendon McCullum.(AFP)

In the current edition of the IPL, finger spinners have found it difficult to ply their trade. Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja have been a few names who have struggled to pick wickets. In Sunrisers Hyderabad squad, other than Bipul Sharma, all their spinners have been wrist spinners. But David Warner has shown interest in Bipul Sharma despite the fact 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, but against Gujarat Lions in the second Qualifier, it was Bipul’s conventional left-arm spin that attracted Lions batters to go after him and lose wickets. Bipul, before picking dangerous looking Brendon McCulllum with a beautifully deceived delivery, had bad luck going for him. In his second over, he nearly got a set Dinesh Karthik out had Ben Cutting judged the trajectory of the shot well. Then, in his third over, Finch scooped at fine-leg but Barinder denied him.

Bipul being a brave bowler, flighted the next delivery and found success with McCullum mistiming it to deep cover. It could have been a just wicket for Bipul, but in the larger context, McCullum’s wicket broke the Lions’momentum. Other than two bad deliveries which went for four, Bipul has given a good example of how finger spinners could have been successful. For Bipul, the last two games has helped him get back his identity.

In 2007, when Indian Cricket League (ICL) was founded, nearly 10 players from the Punjab Ranji team sought NOCs from the state mid-season. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Bipul Sharma was one among them. As a result, Punjab suffered badly as majority of their strength had chosen the glamorous league over their state cricket. Bipul, alongside many others has joined Chandigarh Lions.

Two years down the line, ICL was defunct and all those players including Bipul were seeking amnesty from their respective states. Luckily, he wasn’t among those who were banned by their states. Bipul came back strong and helped resurrect his career for Punjab with impressive performances. His career was back on track and a few good performances in the Vijay Hazare saw him getting picked in the Deodhar Trophy. In 2010, Kings XI Punjab invested in him as an all-rounder.

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 has played just 25 matches so far and his record isn’t eye-catching at all. With 13 wickets, Bipul was always a filler in the squads, played for a specific purpose. In 2013, Bipul joined Himachal Pradesh and his consistency earned him an India A. spot. But when KXIP dropped in 2014, Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him and have persisted with him so far.

First Published: May 28, 2016 11:53 IST