The Aussie all-rounder had Kane Williamson caught in the deep to dismiss the batsman who, on any other day, would've been the team's only hope in the run-chase. However, those watching intently on their screens across the world still believed that SRH pull off the miracle and reach their third IPL final in 5 seasons.
The biggest reason behind this belief was the presence of Abdul Samad, who was batting on 25 off 12 when Williamson was dismissed. And although he couldn't take his team over the line, the Jammu & Kashmir man had a number of watchers who had faith in him.
Sound familiar? With his performances in IPL 2020, Abdul Samad drew a number of parallels with MS Dhoni, and although he isn't a wicket-keeper, his batting bears a number of similarities to the former Indian captain.
Dhoni's lightning-fast stumpings and reading of the game from behind the stumps will certainly be missed. But as far as batting is concerned, Abdul Samad, all of 19 years of age, could be the man to carry forward the 2011 World Cup winning skipper's legacy.
Here are 3 striking similarities between MS Dhoni and Abdul Samad.
#3 Abdul Samad has a calm head on his shoulders, much like MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni's calmness on and off the field needs no reminders, and his composure in difficult situations is one of his biggest assets. And although it's still early days in his career, Abdul Samad seems to exhibit the same quality.
The 19-year-old has been unruffled by the best bowlers in the world. He launched Jasprit Bumrah for a couple of towering sixes against the Mumbai Indians, and crunched a pull off a pacy short ball from Anrich Nortje in Qualifier 1.
Abdul Samad parks himself deep in his crease often, staying completely still with his head right on top of the ball. He makes very few unnecessary movements while batting, and this can be attributed to the equilibrium that he maintains. In the field, the all-rounder has taken a couple of high-pressure catches with consummate ease.
Abdul Samad has also bowled a couple of crucial overs in IPL 2020, most notably against the Chennai Super Kings against Sam Curran and, well, MS Dhoni. He was taken to the cleaners by Nicholas Pooran in a game against the Kings XI Punjab and wasn't afforded too many opportunities with the ball since, but he held his nerve for the most part.
#2 Abdul Samad has power beyond his years, much like a young MS Dhoni
Abdul Samad is still a teenager, but he's shown precocious hitting ability and power during the short while he has spent the crease. With a strike rate of 170.76 in IPL 2020, he was one of the fastest-scoring batsmen in the tournament, and cleared the boundary 6 times in just 65 balls.
This aspect of Abdul Samad's game is quite similar to MS Dhoni's power-hitting early on in his career. The Jharkhand youngster burst onto the scene with his murderous hundred against Pakistan in 2005, and didn't look back. Both Abdul Samad and MS Dhoni can boast of a skill that can't be taught very easily, and it's safe to say that power-hitting has come naturally to them.
"Well, I guess the boundary doesn't matter to me. We know that if I hit from the middle of the bat it will go over the ropes. I did gain confidence with that shot," he said in an interview a while ago.
Samad has also shown that he has an excellent throwing arm, and the signs are very promising.
#1 Abdul Samad has shown early signs of being a finisher
Abdul Samad may have faced less than 10 overs in IPL 2020, and has only 111 runs at an average of 22.2 to show for. However, he has shown early indications of being a finisher, and the aforementioned qualities - power and composure - certainly have a part to play in this.
Often coming in at No. 6 or No. 7, the youngster often added the finishing touches to innings. Samad is a batting all-rounder, and if he works on his bowling a bit to assure his captain of a few overs in every game, he could play a role similar to the one Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya play for the Indian team.
Abdul Samad is far from a finished product, and he has a lot of work to do before he can be considered for a spot in the national side. However, his talent has already been recognised by a number of former Indian cricketers such as Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan, who incidentally recommended him to SRH mentor VVS Laxman.
Samad certainly has a bright future ahead of him, and we could see a lot more of him in the years to come.
Published 10 Nov 2020, 14:00 IST