« Back to articlePrint this article

'Had belief in myself I could win the game'

April 19, 2024 12:19 IST

IMAGE: Ashutosh Sharma put up a sizzling show with the willow on the day when the Punjab line-up collapsed like a pack of cards. Photograph: BCCI

Punjab Kings' batting sensation Ashutosh Sharma had the self-belief to take his team over the line, though Gerald Coetzee ended his stay at the crease to take Mumbai Indians to their third win of the ongoing Indian Premier League season.

The 25-year-old Ashutosh put Mumbai Indians' bowling to sword in Mullanpur on Thursday when he hammered seven sixes and two fours to make 61 off a mere 28 balls, a knock which brought PBKS back from the brink after an early collapse.


PBKS were 17/4 inside the powerplay but courtesy the stunning fightback from Ashutosh and Shashank Singh (41), they were able to get close to MI's 193-run target before losing by nine runs.

Ashutosh said he was confident of taking Punjab over the line.

"I had belief in myself that I would be able to win the game for the team," he said.

Ashutosh credited former India player and coach Sanjay Bangar, head of cricket development at PBKS, for his improvement this season.

"Sanjay sir told me that I am not a slogger and that I can play proper cricket shots. It was a small statement but carried a huge meaning for me. I am only following it – I am not a hard-hitter, I am playing proper cricketing shots and that is what has changed my game," Ashutosh said.

"Back home, I was working with my coach Amay Khurasiya who had told me that the longer you stay on the pitch, the more your team has a chance of winning," he added.

The right-handed batter, who made some gestures towards the PBKS dugout after completing his fifty, said the celebrations were meant for his team management.

"That celebration was for our Sanjay (Bangar) sir, I have been working a lot with him and I keep asking him questions," Ashutosh said.

"He gave me a chance, and also the entire Punjab team which showed belief in me. Our head coach Trevor Bayliss, Ashish (Tuli) paaji, Shikhar (Dhawan) paaji, everyone believed in me, so it was for all of them," he added.

Punjab slumped to their fifth defeat in seven matches as well as to the ninth spot in the points table, but Ashutosh said his side has been playing well.

"Winning and losing are part of the game. How you are playing is something that matters and we are playing well as a team. If we will play well, we will win," he said.

© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.