CHENNAI: As a batter, Tamil Nadu’s Shahrukh Khan needs no introduction. But, as a bowler, the 27-year-old is yet to showcase his best.
However, Shahrukh, a mainstay in the state team across formats, recently offered a glimpse of what he is capable of with the ball. The Lyca Kovai Kings skipper foxed the Nellai Royal Kings batters with his effective off-spinners and defended nine runs in the final over of the Tamil Nadu Premier League 2022 match in Salem on Saturday.
Shahrukh has rolled his arm over in each of the seven TNPL Season 6 games he has played so far and has been fairly successful with 10 wickets to his credit. The numbers – 17.5-0-148-10 – are mighty impressive for someone who had picked up just a solitary scalp in the first five TNPL editions combined. And, they are nothing but the product of Shahrukh’s grind.
“I have been working a lot more on my bowling in the last seven to eight months. It is coming off well now. I am thankful to be able to pull off games for the team,” Shahrukh said in a virtual interaction on Monday.
“I was bowling well at the Under-19 and Under-23 levels. I then had a shoulder injury, so I could not bowl often. Now that everything is fine, I have been working on conventional off-spin. I have also been working on my stock ball,” added Shahrukh.
“Whether it is white-ball cricket or red-ball cricket, I just want to spin the ball as much as possible. If I can spin the ball well out of my hand, the ball and the wicket (pitch) will do the rest for me. This is how my process has been [over the last few months].”
Shahrukh, who was called up to the national team as a reserve player for the home white-ball series against the West Indies in February, featured in only eight matches for Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League 2022 and bowled in none of them.
Asked if turning into a genuine all-rounder would lead to more opportunities at the top level, Shahrukh responded: “Having two skills is always an advantage. But, I do not think ‘I will get selected only if I bowl well or take more wickets’. Wherever I play, I try to do my best. That is what I am doing in the TNPL now.”
Shahrukh will be in action on Tuesday when Kovai faces Siechem Madurai Panthers in the TNPL 2022 Eliminator at the Salem Cricket Foundation Ground.