Shahrukh Khan, the cricketer, packs as much punch as his movie namesake.
On Monday evening, like never before, this Tamil Nadu ‘finisher’ reinforced his reputation of being a match-winner. Just when Karnataka was threatening to take away the golden trophy from the defending champion, Shahrukh carried this State’s title-aspirations and provided a memorable finish — a last-ball six!
Asked what he thought before the last ball of the final, with TN needing five runs to win, Shahrukh said, “There were a lot of things in my mind, but I tried to keep it simple. I knew that the ball had become soft and rough and the wicket was slow. So I wanted to connect it off the middle. I was waiting to hit it over long-on.
“But once the ball came in, I got the room to get it over square leg. It has been a special thing to hit a last-ball six. I’ll remember this for a long time.”
In domestic competition, the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali (T20) Trophy is considered the biggest stage for those looking to jump onto the IPL bandwagon.
With the IPL mega auction not far away, the Punjab Kings’ recruit can expect a much bigger price-tag.
Clearly, the national selectors are looking for ‘finishers’ who play the big shots from the first ball — and not use up precious deliveries to get their eye in.
The exploits of ‘impact’ players like James Neesham and Mathew Wade in match-winning roles in the T20 World Cup lend context to this line of thinking.
Shahrukh surely fits the bill, carries a cool head and knows how to finish the job. And he is sure to get a call sooner than later.