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SRH vs RR, IPL Qualifier 2: Abhishek Sharma’s stock soars thanks to Lyon-style efforts and father’s help |  Cricket news
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SRH vs RR, IPL Qualifier 2: Abhishek Sharma’s stock soars thanks to Lyon-style efforts and father’s help | Cricket news

Abhishek Sharma had bowled just three overs in 14 matches this IPL season before he rolled over and delivered a winning spell of left-arm spin in the most crucial match for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Chennai on Friday.

Until Qualifier 2, it was Abhishek’s bat that made the most noise as 470 runs came from the willow of the SRH opener in 14 innings at a strike rate of 207.75, including the highest 41 sixes of the season. But it was a bowling spell of 2 for 24, including wickets of Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer, that took SRH to the IPL 2024 final.

Chasing SRH 175 for 9, Rajasthan could muster only 139 for 7.

The 2016 winners SRH will now take on the 2012 and 2014 Kolkata Knight Riders in the title clash in Chennai on Sunday.

Offering a rare combination of an opening batsman who is more than a useful bowler, former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody called Abhishek a “serious package” for the future of Indian cricket.

“He is 100% behind himself. Yes, he is not bowling as much as he needs to be in domestic cricket for whatever reason but for the future of Indian cricket he needs to bowl because he is a serious package to be reckoned with hold.” (He bats) at the top of the order, someone who can bowl with the left arm, regardless of size, he will be a real asset in the future,” Tom Moody said on ESPNcricinfo.

Moody then compared Abhishek to Australian off-spin legend Nathan Lyon in terms of the way the Indian youngster’s ball sinks in flight.

“The reason he is unique as a spinner is that he throws the ball up and what he tries to do is get an overspin on the ball so that the ball comes down like this (seam upright), in the style of Nathan Lyon, he drops. So he doesn’t.” ‘t bowl side spin, he bowls overspin and he’s got that smart carrom ball that he’s been working on, and that’s the one that Hetmyer got which was absolutely a peach,” Moody said.

Abhishek, who could score only 12 runs on Friday, said he was unsure if his bowling will be needed in Qualifier 2.

“To be honest, I didn’t know that I would be bowling this match, but I was ready to bowl because I worked really hard on my bowling,” Abhishek said after the match. “My batting has been going very well in the past two years, so I wanted to work on my bowling with my father. So a special mention to my father.”