IPL emerging stars: Buoyed by maiden T20 ton, Sai Sudharsan is on the right path - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

IPL emerging stars: Buoyed by maiden T20 ton, Sai Sudharsan is on the right path

ht_print | By
May 23, 2024 09:11 AM IST

By racking up 527 runs in 12 games for Gujarat Titans (GT) this year (avg 47.91, SR 141.29), the 22-year-old has simply reiterated his ability

It is a sign of B Sai Sudharsan’s progress that he finds himself fifth on the list of highest run-getters in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) without attracting much attention. Having had his breakthrough IPL season in 2023 when he ended the tournament with a 47-ball 96 against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final, although in a losing cause, Sudharsan’s talent as a top-order batter has been evident over the past 12 months.

Gujarat Titans’ Sai Sudharsan in action during a match against Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad. (ANI Photo)
Gujarat Titans’ Sai Sudharsan in action during a match against Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad. (ANI Photo)

It earned the left-hand batter an ODI debut on the tour of South Africa last December, and two fifties in three games was indicative of a bright start. If not for a back injury forcing him to head to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for recovery after finishing as India A’s highest run-getter against England Lions in three four-day matches in January and February, he was also in consideration to be drafted into India’s squad for the final Test against England at Dharamsala in March.

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

By racking up 527 runs in 12 games for Gujarat Titans (GT) this year (average 47.91, strike rate 141.29), the 22-year-old has simply reiterated his ability. It’s another matter that GT – champions in 2022 and runners-up in 2023 – finished eighth in the points table.

“There were a lot of learnings. If the team isn’t doing well, we have to step up and do what we can do. But ultimately if the team doesn’t have a great season, it’s an ordinary season for any cricketer in the team. If you give small, vital contributions and the team wins, it will be valued more than having a great season and the team not winning,” Sudharsan said over the phone on Tuesday. “As a team, we can do a lot of things better. I had a decent season, but I still could have made the team win on some occasions.”

Sudharsan had a particularly strong finish to the campaign. In what turned out to be Gujarat’s final game of the season against CSK – their last two league matches were abandoned due to rain – the youngster from Chennai brought up his maiden T20 hundred, smashing a 51-ball 103 and stitching together a 210-run stand with skipper Shubman Gill for the first wicket.

“There was a sense of happiness (after the hundred). But there was also a bit of disappointment that it didn’t come earlier. If it had, I could have contributed better with that confidence. It has given me clarity,” Sudharsan said.

On his way to a century, Sudharsan also became the fastest Indian to 1000 IPL runs – he got there in 25 innings, bettering a record jointly held by Sachin Tendulkar and Ruturaj Gaikwad (31 innings). Though he may not be as eye-catching or explosive as some of his peers who can take bowling attacks apart – his game is suited more to thriving in the longer formats -- what he provides in abundance is consistency. “It (getting to 1000 runs quickly) gives confidence and assurance that I am working in the right way and I am on the right path,” he said. “If you have a strength, you have to build around it.”

If there’s a facet where Sudharsan acknowledges that there’s work to be done, it’s in power-hitting. While his strike rate has been above 140 over the past two seasons, you could argue that the mindset has altered to an extent where the best T20 batters are often striking at 160-plus.

“There were a few games where I played slow, but the situation was not what it was in the other games. But definitely, that skill has to be acquired. The way the game is going, everybody has to evolve as a batter,” Sudharsan pointed out before adding, “Compared to last year, I have got to know more about playing in that last phase of the game. I had a few more games this year where I batted in the final 4-5 overs. Last season, I felt like I was just trying to hit. This time, my feeling was what I can do against a particular bowler according to my strength. The understanding towards playing those last 4-5 overs has become better. But I have to still work a lot in that area to be more efficient in the last few overs.”

Get World Cup ready with Crickit! From live scores to match stats, catch all the action here. Explore now!

See more

Catch all the Latest T20 World Cup 2024 news and Live Cricket Score along with World Cup 2024 Schedule and World Cup 2024 Points Table related updates on Hindustan Times Website and APPs

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, June 16, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On