Teen prodigy B Sai Sudharsan has turned into a man in what is astonishingly his maiden Tamil Nadu Premier League campaign, accumulating a heap of runs for Lyca Kovai Kings. The 19-year-old has been an absolute delight to watch in the T20 competition so much so that each of his five innings thus far – 87(43), 57*(43), 40*(24), 61(52) and 51(36) – have made many utter the widely-popular ‘Remember the name!’ phrase.
The endless plaudits didn’t come easy as Sai Sudharsan, in an interaction with DT Next on Monday, revealed that he went the extra mile in the run-up to the ongoing edition of the League. “I prepared for almost a year for the TNPL. So when the tournament began last month, I was totally ready for it,” said Sai Sudharsan, the current top-scorer of TNPL 2021 with 296 runs from five matches.
“The TNPL would have happened last year if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it wasn’t hosted in 2020, there was a long gap in between. There was a lot of preparation time and I made the best use of it. I practised whenever the restrictions were eased,” added Sai Sudharsan, a student of the Vivekananda College in Chennai.
It is a shame that the local lad’s stroke-filled knocks have come in front of empty stands at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here, but they have been taken to thousands of households by the League’s official broadcaster. Sai Sudharsan stressed that he keeps a cool head every time he walks out to bat although all eyes are on him at the moment.
“I don’t take the pressure that comes from outside. I don’t think about the number of people who watch my game on the Star Sports channels and the Hotstar application. But, I do have an internal pressure to perform for my team. I feel that I have thrived under it so far in the TNPL,” explained Sai Sudharsan, who represented India ‘A’ in the Under-19 Challenger Trophy in Hyderabad in November 2019.
Sai Sudharsan, a member of the Chepauk Super Gillies squad in the third edition in 2018, also said that he enjoys working in the company of the Kovai Kings seniors. “Since the first day, they have been mentoring me and offering inputs. Whenever I talk to them, I get more clarity on match situations. So, I try to apply them when I bat in the middle.”
Going by the outstanding numbers in his debut TNPL season and the calm demeanour he displays in crunch situations, it looks like ‘King’ Sai Sudharsan is here to stay.