IPL 2024: My father and Yuvraj will be happy with my bowling performance, says SRH's Abhishek Sharma

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS): Abhishek Sharma's surprise left-arm spin did wonders for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) as they overpowered Rajasthan Royals by 36 runs in Qualifier 2 to set up a clash in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Abhishek picked wickets of Rajasthan captain Sanju Samson (10) and Shimron Hetmyer (4) to give big jolts to the side while chasing 176. He returned with figures of 2-24 in four overs in the match. The 23-year-old said his father and former legendary all-rounder Yuvraj Singh would be happy to see his bowling performance.

“My father will be very happy, he was a left-arm spinner. He has been working really hard on my bowling. Somehow, I knew that if I kept on working on my bowling I could contribute to my team because I have that in myself,” Abhishek said in a video posted on IPL's official website.

Abhishek explained he had to convince SRH coaches and captain Pat Cummins to allow him to bowl. Before the clash against Rajasthan, Abhishek had only bowled three overs in the season.

“From the junior cricket, I have been bowling a lot. I was waiting for this opportunity. It was not easy, I had to convince my captain and coach because they had not seen me bowling much.”

“Whenever I had talks with Yuvi Paaji about my bowling, he used to say that I can be a better bowler than him, so that thing I had in my mind and he will be really happy with my performance,” he said.

Ahead of the final, Abhishek wants the fans to turn up in large numbers and support Hyderabad at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

"I've been playing IPL for quite a few years now and obviously as a youngster my dream was to play in the finals and finally we're playing this year. I know Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have a lot of fan following here. I would request all the CSK fans to come and support us in the final,” he said.

Abhishek was not the only left-arm spinner that had an imprint on Friday as Shehbaz Ahmed also scalped three wickets to pick Player of the Match accolade.

"Since the start of the campaign, we're very relaxed and we're still not very excited. Our main focus is to win the final. I'm happy and proud of my semi-final performance," said Ahmed. "When I was batting in the death overs, I felt the wicket was slow and the ball was coming slowly on the bat. In my first over of bowling, after getting Yashasvi Jaiswal's wicket, I was confident that left-arm spin would be tough for the right-handed batters," he added.

The final of the tournament will be played on Sunday.



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Title: IPL 2024: My father and Yuvraj will be happy with my bowling performance, says SRH's Abhishek Sharma

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