Former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta believes that the last-ball six against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) will boost the confidence of SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) batter Abdul Samad.
Two teams squared off at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Sunday, May 7. Hyderabad required 17 runs off the final over to chase down Rajasthan's mammoth 215-run target.
The equation came down to five from the last delivery. RR pacer Sandeep Sharma delivered a fantastic yorker under pressure, which resulted in Samad getting caught at the long-off boundary. However, the no-ball siren went off soon after, as replays showed that Sharma had overstepped.
Abdul Samad made the most of the chance, striking a fantastic six down the ground on the free hit to win the match for his side.
Speaking about Samad's heroics after the clash, Deep Dasgupta told ESPNcricinfo:
"He [Abdul Samad] has been in that position for a while. He hasn't been playing regularly, but he has been around. He is supposed to play that role, come and finish off games.
"This is a huge, huge one for Samad. Someone who has spent a lot of time there and someone who has got the potential and talent, but I think this one shot can change his graph from here on."
Samad remained unbeaten on 17 from just seven balls, including two sixes. The 21-year-old was under the scanner for his poor form. However, he repaid the team management's faith by helping Hyderabad cross the line this time around.
"He is up there with the rest of the young and exciting top order players that India have" - Tom Moody lauds SRH opener Abhishek Sharma
Tom Moody also reserved high praise for SRH opener Abhishek Sharma following the left-handed batter's half-century in the run chase against RR.
He highlighted that Hyderabad should have avoided changing the southpaw's batting position during the starting phase of the tournament. Moody suggested that Abhishek is among the best top-order young batters in the country, elaborating:
"It just shows you the continuing growth of Abhishek Sharma. It just makes you wonder why he was mucked around in the first part of the tournament because he is up there with the rest of the young and exciting top order players that India have got on offer."
Abhishek set the tone for his team with his 55-run knock at the top. During the same discussion, former Indian cricketer Deep Dasgupta spoke about how playing domestic cricket has helped the 22-year-old better his game against spin bowlers, adding:
"These guys play domestic cricket regularly. You get to play a lot more spin in domestic cricket as compared to international cricket. I am not talking about the quality, but at least you are regularly playing spin. Abhishek plays a little lower down in red ball cricket, so he plays a lot of spin.
"He is one of those guys who is kind of old school with the way he plays spin. He uses his feet, very good footwork against spin and has got all the shots. He sweeps, he steps out, so he has got all the basics that you require."
Abhishek has aggregated 208 runs from eight innings, which includes two half-centuries. He is averaging 25.37 this season and has an impressive strike rate of 152.63 to his name.