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Sai raring to Shore up TN attack
Left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore played out of his skin for the entirety of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2019, but unfortunately couldn’t steer Tamil Nadu all the way.
The Dinesh Karthik-led side stumbled in the last hurdle, going down to title-winner Karnataka in a thrilling finale. So, Sai Kishore, highest wicket-taker of the previous edition with 20 scalps from 12 matches, is raring to go again in SMAT 2021, which is set to take place in seven venues between January 10 and 31.
“Not even in my wildest dreams did I aim to top the ‘Most Wickets’ chart. I was focussed on doing my best for the team. I had a great tournament last year, no doubt in that. But, the target was to bag the trophy. It will be the same this season,” Sai Kishore, a key component of the 20-man Tamil Nadu squad, told DT Next.
“I will do everything in my power to help the side go the distance. We can’t predict how many wickets I will get this time around, but I will be happy if I give my 100 per cent. If we can replicate what we did last year, I feel that we can win the cup,” added the 24-year-old.
Sai Kishore boasted of mind-boggling numbers in SMAT 2019 under the leadership of Karthik, who has been named captain for the upcoming edition too. The tall left-arm orthodox bowler said that the India international brings the best out of players by conveying plans with great clarity.
“Karthik gets the team together. He will define the roles to everyone in the squad. He will make your job easier. When you turn up at the stadium, there is no room for surprises. That assurance will come in handy once again,” explained Sai Kishore, who didn’t disappoint when Karthik threw him the new ball on a number of occasions last season.
Sai Kishore, a member of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) contingent for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in the UAE, is well prepared for SMAT 2021. “I have been training at an academy for the last one month. Since last week, the Tamil Nadu players have been preparing as a team. We are in good shape heading into the tournament.”