David Warner has said that his gut feeling prompted him to hand youngster Abhishek Sharma the first over against the Punjab Kings. The Sunrisers Hyderabad captain said that he took the call only moments before the match started on Wednesday afternoon.
Warner surprised all and sundry when he started with Abhishek Sharma, as the youngster had never before opened the bowling in T20s. The tactic almost paid immediate dividends, as Abhishek Sharma had Mayank Agarwal holing out to Rashid Khan, only for the Afghanistan international to drop a touch chance in the deep.
Opening up on the thought process behind Abhishek Sharma opening the bowling, Warner said during the post-match press conference to a question by Sportskeeda:
“There wasn’t really any thought behind it. We were in the circle, and I just said to Abhishek: ‘ You got the first over!’ There wasn’t any thought about it. I just had a gut instinct that Punjab Kings have just come from Wankhede, where they had a nice wicket. I thought, you know what, (I) might as well throw him the ball and see how it goes. We know that those two guys (KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal) like pace on the new ball early, and they have been playing nicely. So, I just thought, bring on Abhishek, and we almost had a wicket in the first over. But that’s what happens in cricket."
Although Abhishek Sharma missed out on a wicket in his first over, he bowled a tight three-run over to start the proceedings for SRH. The 20-year-old grew into the game as the match progressed, picking up the scalps of Deepak Hooda and Moises Henriques.
Sharma kept things tight in the middle, ending with figures of 2-24 from his four overs. That marked the first time he bowled his full quota of overs this season, as the finger-spinner thrived on the purchase he obtained from the sticky Chennai wicket.
Abhishek Sharma could be SRH’s second spinner, says David Warner
Following Abhishek Sharma's impressive showing in SRH's nine-wicket win, David Warner was asked whether the bowler could serve as the team’s second spinner in IPL 2021.
In the absence of bowlers like Shahbaz Nadeem and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, the youngster supported Rashid Khan brilliantly, impressing with the ball against a quality batting line-up.
David Warner said that SRH were looking to use Abhishek Sharma as a spinner while also acknowledging that his ability with the bat makes him an ideal pick in the middle order.
“We have asked Abhishek to work hard on his bowling throughout the domestic season from when he played in the IPL last time. He has done that, done a good job and yes, he could be our second spinner. Gives us a great option with the bat, so that’s what is handy about having Abhishek in the team. If he is bowling well, he adds great strength to our line-up,” concluded David Warner.
With their first win in four games this season, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have moved up to fifth in the points table. David Warner and co. will look to continue their winning ways when they lock horns against the Delhi Capitals (DC) in their final game in Chennai on April 25.