IPL 2021: “You will be a proper all-rounder for India in the future” – Rashid Khan to Abhishek Sharma

Abhishek Sharma impressed with the ball against PBKS
Abhishek Sharma impressed with the ball against PBKS
Wasiq Agha

Rashid Khan has big expectations from Sunrisers Hyderabad youngster Abhishek Sharma. The leg-spinner feels Abhishek Sharma will have a great run as an all-rounder for the Men in Blue.

Abhishek Sharma’s exploits with the ball helped SRH register their first win of the season against the Punjab Kings. Although known for his batting ability, his improved showing with the ball attracted praise from players like Rashid Khan and David Warner.

Abhishek Sharma and Rashid Khan got together for a chat after the PBKS vs SRH game, where the Afghan spinner heaped praise on the Indian youngster.

“Looking at the way you bowl, your hard work and skills, it looks like you will be a proper all-rounder for India in the future. You will help India win a lot of games. You have the skill and ability, and if you work hard you will definitely reap the rewards,” Rashid claimed.

Abhishek Sharma was handed the first over during the game, with it being the first time the youngster opened the bowling in his T20 career. The 20-year-old started confidently and almost got a wicket off the last ball of his over.

When asked by Rashid Khan about his state of mind when getting ready to bowl, Abhishek Sharma shared a hilarious anecdote about how he didn’t hear David Warner the first time he asked him to bowl on Wednesday afternoon.

“I was practising my bowling a lot. But suddenly when we were in the huddle, David Warner said ‘You are going to bowl the first over.’ I didn’t hear it clearly so I asked him again to confirm! I have been practising with the new ball, you and Muralitharan sir has helped me a lot. I was confident, wasn’t blank about whether I would be able to bowl," Sharma revealed.

Abhishek Sharma satisfied with bowling effort

The SRH youngster ended with figures of 2/24 in his four overs as he picked up the wickets of Moises Henriques and Deepak Hooda. Abhishek Sharma bowled 10 overs for SRH last year but has already managed half of that in his first two games in IPL 2021.

Abhishek Sharma explained how the lockdown helped him improve as a bowler, while also shedding some light on the variations in his armory.

“I was at home, and my dad was my childhood coach. He was a left-arm spinner, so I learnt a lot from him during the lockdown. Variations such as the slider and carrom ball, the carrom ball I learnt during my U-14 days. The slider I first tried two years ago, and I got a wicket from it today as well. I backed these variations a lot and was confident that I would be able to pull them off in the match as well,” Sharma explained.

If Abhishek Sharma can continue to perform with the ball, it will help him cement a place in the SRH side. The youngster acted as a second spinner on Wednesday and adds to the side's flexibility.

His continued exploits with the ball also bode well for his India chances in the future. If Abhishek Sharma can consistently perform with both bat and ball, it will put him ahead of other all-rounders in the pecking order.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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