Anil Kumble, former Indian captain and current head coach of Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the IPL, has heaped rich praises on his franchise’s new recruit.
Kumble recollected his experience of bowling to West Indies star all-rounder Kieron Pollard in the Mumbai Indians (MI) nets. The legendary spinner was MI’s Chief Mentor from January 2013 till March 2016.
The player Kumble talked about is a 25-year-old batsman Shahrukh Khan.
“Yeah, he reminds me a bit of Pollard actually. When I was with Mumbai Indians, Pollard in the nets was dangerous. I used to bowl a bit (in the nets), and the first thing I used to tell him was don’t hit straight. Here I’m not even trying. I’m a lot older now, and the body doesn’t take the bowling anymore. So, I’m not going to bowl at Shahrukh, for sure”.
Shahrukh made his List A debut on February 27, 2014, for Tamil Nadu in the 2013–14 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He made his first-class debut in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy on December 6, 2018.
Shahrukh was part of the Tamil Nadu side that went unbeaten all season to clinch the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. He scored an unbeaten 40 from 19 balls in the quarter-final against Himachal Pradesh.
In February this year, Shahrukh was bought by PBKS for INR 5.25 crore at the IPL 2021 auction. He came into the auction as an uncapped player at a base price of INR 20 lakh.
“Being amongst such stalwarts of cricket, it feels amazing to be here and the inputs have been great. I have been having a lot of conversations with everyone around here, getting to learn a lot as well,” Shahrukh said about his experience at the PBKS camp.
The right-handed batsman also revealed that he was quite surprised to see a bidding war among the franchises to acquire his services for IPL 2021.
“The auction started at around 3 PM I guess, and we were practising at the Holkar Stadium, obviously I had to bat and bowl a bit. So I told our physio that ‘please let me know when my name comes up. I’ll take a break and come and see the auction.’ Luckily my name didn’t come up, and it didn’t bother my batting much. Right after we finished practice and we hopped onto the bus, I still remember sitting on the first seat and my name came up. My heart started pumping, but I didn’t expect it to rise as much as it did,” Shahrukh added.
“He reminds me a bit of Pollard!” 💪
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) April 4, 2021
PBKS will begin their IPL 2021 campaign against Rajasthan Royals (RR) on April 12 in Mumbai.