In a story where Chennai Super Kings (CSK) pacer Deepak Chahar played the role of the protagonist to perfection, Shahrukh did his bit, helping Punjab put on a 100+ score with a 36-ball 47. The 25-year-old big-hitter was the lone bright spark for PBKS, which suffered a six-wicket defeat at the Wankhede Stadium.
Following a brief chat with CSK captain MS Dhoni, one of the best in the industry, Shahrukh reflected on his act at the post-match virtual press conference. “When I walked out to bat, almost half the team was back in the dressing room. I wanted to hang around for some time and assess the pitch so that the slog overs would be easier for me,” he said.
“If I had played those five balls in the 20th over, we would have had 20 more runs. That would have made it a tight game,” added Shahrukh, who was dismissed by Sam Curran off the first delivery in the final over. “The pitch was a bit slow. It was not like the usual Wankhede wickets which I have seen over the years. The ball stopped a lot on the pitch. I didn’t expect the surface to play in such a manner.”
When Shahrukh was called into action, Punjab was crumbling at 19 for four in the fifth over. Designated as a finisher, the Chennai-based batsman was pushed out of his comfort zone but swiftly adapted to the challenging circumstances. The IPL newbie stressed that there is more to his game than just smashing the ball all over the park.
“My role is playing down the order. But, you can’t expect to go out there and blast every game. There will be situations where you need to take up the responsibility,” said Shahrukh, after singlehandedly pulling PBKS to a three-digit score.
“I am a good batsman and I have batted up the order for Tamil Nadu for a couple of years. So, I have the skill to see the team through in tough situations. I have developed my game as a finisher in the last two years. But, my core game is to play cricketing shots,” explained Shahrukh, whose IPL career is only two matches old.