The Sandeep Sharma Story: From Going Unsold In IPL Auction To Stopping The MS Dhoni Onslaught


The stage was set for yet one more MS Dhoni masterclass on the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Thursday. With Chennai Super Kings (CSK) needing 54 runs from 18 balls, the size was barely tipped in direction of Rajasthan Royals however the residence crowd’s roar on the MA Chidambaram Stadium instructed a special story. Dhoni was on the crease and the CSK followers have been brimming with confidence that ‘Thala’ will weave his magic as soon as once more. 14 runs got here from the 18th over and 19 runs from the 19th over because the equation saved getting higher for CSK. With Dhoni hitting sixes for enjoyable, it appeared just like the match was headed for just one end. It was as if a fairytale involving considered one of Chennai’s favorite sons was unfolding in entrance of a packed crowd of yellow-jersey carrying die-hard followers however sadly, nobody appeared to have given the script to Sandeep Sharma.

Sharma, who was handed the duty to bowl the ultimate over, isn’t new to the event. The pacer from Patiala made his IPL debut approach again in 2011 and through the years, he has developed a popularity of being a reliable however inconsistent asset. While his years with Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad noticed some good performances, he did not make himself indispensable.

As a end result, it got here as little shock that the 29-year-old didn’t discover any takers within the IPL 2023 public sale. Sharma is a form of bowler who by no means had specific tempo however his motion made him a significant risk to even the perfect batters on the earth. Even Chris Gayle on the top of his explosive powers typically appeared bothered by the constant motion that Sharma was recognized for.

The motion continued to pay wealthy dividends within the home circuit, however with the IPL changing into extra of a batter’s sport, groups slowly began shifting in direction of bowlers who’re sooner and might produce excessive pace deliveries on the flattest of pitches. A “shocked and disappointed” Sharma vowed to work exhausting in an interview proper after the public sale however his wait was shorter than anticipated.

Young pacer Prasidh Krishna was dominated out of the event attributable to damage and Rajasthan Royals abruptly discovered themselves in hunt of a quick bowling choice. Sandeep Sharma was introduced into the fold so as to add expertise to a star-studded bowling assault and he was into the thick of issues in a short time with the administration selecting him because the one to accomplice Trent Boult and Jason Holder.

So, clearly, Sandeep was no novice as he stepped as much as bowl the ultimate over. He began with two wides because the equation for CSK got here all the way down to 19 off six balls.

Then he bowled a dot with a superbly positioned yorker. Both Sandeep Sharma and RR couldn’t have requested for a greater begin. The perception was slowly returning to the Rajasthan camp however one ball later – calamity! A wayward supply flew off Dhoni’s bat to the fine-leg boundary for a six and the next ball was additionally dispatched for an additional most over deep mid-wicket.

The stress was now firmly on Sharma however he determined to tweak his sport plan barely.

“I backed my strength of executing the yorkers. I have been bowling the yorkers well in the nets. One side of the ground was bigger so I decided to bowl a yorker on the heels (of MS Dhoni) but it turned out to be low full tosses and both were hit for sixes. After that, I changed my plan and went around the wicket to change the angle and it’s great it gave me a different result,” he mentioned.

Two good full-length deliveries adopted and each Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja might solely handle to get singles off them. 5 runs wanted off the ultimate ball and Dhoni was towering on the crease.

The pleasure had lastly reached its crescendo and thousands and thousands of spectators have been glued to their TV and cellular screens to see how the story lastly ends. Dhoni appeared all prepared to offer the ball a mighty whack however Sharma got here up with an outdated and trusted weapon – the yorker. He bowled a large yorker and among the best finishers of the sport might solely handle to play it to mid-wicket for a single.

In a second when feelings have been working excessive throughout him, Sharma had a beaming smile on his face and he simply pointed his finger up as if to absorb the second. Just months in the past, he didn’t obtain a single bid from the ten franchises however beneath the floodlights in Chennai on Wednesday, the IPL veteran took a small however vital step in direction of making himself “indispensable”.

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