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Rediff.com  » Cricket » A chat with Lara and an SRH record follows for Abhishek

A chat with Lara and an SRH record follows for Abhishek

March 28, 2024 10:08 IST
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'...the domestic season gives us a lot of confidence. The message for the batters is simple -- go out and express yourself. The plan was to attack, I enjoyed batting with Head, he is one of my favourite batters, and I admire him. He told me to go for it if it was in my zone.'

Abhishek Sharma celebrates smashing his way to a half-century from just 16 balls.

IMAGE: Abhishek Sharma celebrates smashing his way to a half-century from just 16 balls. Photograph: BCCI

Following his side's win over Mumbai Indians (MI) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match, SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) all-rounder Abhishek Sharma expressed admiration for his batting partner Travis Head and opened up on how a chat with West Indies batting great Brian Lara helped him massively.

Abhishek was one of the shining stars for the Orange Army in their 31-run win over five-time champions MI in a record-breaking IPL match at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, as he smashed the fastest fifty in history of the franchise, in just 16 balls, to take home the 'Player of the Match' honours.

 

Coming in at number three instead of his preferred opening spot, the 23-year-old made a strong impact.

Speaking after the game in the post-match presentation, Abhishek said, "To be honest I didn't realise that it was the fastest fifty for SRH and for this year. I just wanted to go and express myself and after getting out I realised that it was the quickest. I enjoyed it."

Sharma and opener Travis Head stitched 68 runs off just 22 balls for the second wicket for SRH.

"I said in the previous interview too, the domestic season gives us a lot of confidence. The message for the batters is simple -- go out and express yourself.  The plan was to attack, I enjoyed batting with Head, he is one of my favourite batters, and I admire him. He told me to go for it if it was in my zone.

"I am happy to be getting my chances, does not matter what position I am playing. I had a chance to talk to Brian Lara last night and that helped me massively. I would rather bowl more in practice than bat, trying my best with bowling as well," said 'Man of the Match' Sharma.

Abhishek came into this IPL following a great Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament for Punjab last year, ending the tournament as the second-highest scorer with 485 runs at an average of 48.50 and a strike rate of over 192, with two centuries and three fifties in 10 innings.

In his IPL appearances this year, he has scored 63 against SRH and 32 against Kolkata Knight Riders (SRH) in the campaign opener.

Though he had a fine IPL 2022, scoring 426 runs in 14 matches at an average of 30.43 and a strike rate of over 133, including two fifties, he could not get much better opportunities to bat next year due to team combinations, batting down the order, and making 226 runs in 11 matches. He is with the SRH franchise since 2019, after a brief stint with Delhi Capitals back in 2018.

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