Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) swing bowler Sandeep Sharma has not been given sufficient credit for the performances he has dished out in the IPL over the years.
He made this observation while highlighting the medium pacer's IPL exploits in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra started by picking Sandeep Sharma as the game-changer in yesterday's encounter against the Mumbai Indians.
"I am going with Sandeep Sharma. He took three wickets. He firstly dismissed Rohit Sharma, he has got Rohit Sharma out four times in the IPL and twice this season as well, once caught behind and then caught at mid-off."
The reputed commentator reasoned that the SRH opening bowler got the wickets of Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan at crucial stages, after having dismissed Rohit Sharma earlier in the game.
"After that Quinton de Kock went after him, a boundary followed by two sixes but then he got him out. And then Ishan Kishan was batting well, there was a lot of expectation from him as it was the last recognised pair. He also hit a six and got out off the next ball."
While acknowledging that the three Mumbai Indians batsmen may not have been dismissed off great deliveries, Aakash Chopra pointed out that Sandeep Sharma delivered what was expected of him.
"There was an element of luck as the batsmen did not get dismissed on wicket-taking deliveries but the end justifies the means. If you have taken three wickets, out of which two are openers and one out of the last recognised pair, I think that is what is required."
Aakash Chopra on Sandeep Sharma's exploits in the IPL over the years
Aakash Chopra observed that Sandeep Sharma has been as potent as Jasprit Bumrah in the powerplay overs in the IPL.
"There is a question if Sandeep Sharma should play for India. If you talk about T20 stats, if you talk about wickets in the powerplay, you will never take his name along with Jasprit Bumrah in the same sentence but it should be taken."
The former KKR player pointed out that the swing bowler from Punjab has taken heaps of wickets in the powerplay.
"That's the kind of performances he has been giving. He has been taking wickets left, right and centre. In the powerplay overs, only Bumrah is nearby him in terms of the number of wickets."
While acknowledging that Sandeep Sharma may not be an India prospect at this stage, Aakash Chopra questioned if he has gotten due credit.
"Because he does not have the pace, you feel at times why you say about playing for India, I am not saying that he should play for India but I am just asking if he gets the amount of credit that he deserves."
Aakash Chopra signed off by highlighting that the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack has taken the most wickets in IPL 2020, with Sandeep Sharma leading the pace department in Bhuvneshwar Kumar's absence.
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"SRH is the team which has taken the most wicket in this IPL and that is without Bhuvi. So, without Bhuvi being available if this bowling attack takes so many wickets, Sandeep Sharma has been a very important cog in their scheme of things. I feel he should be given the due credit for the performances he has been putting."
Sandeep Sharma now holds the record for the most wickets in the powerplay in the history of the IPL, with 53 wickets to his name. The 27-year-old has picked up 13 wickets in IPL 2020 thus far at a decent economy rate of 7.34.
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