Back to  Horse Racing  news
Shashank Singh: The Wrong Savior
Apr 22, 2024, 10:58:00 AM

Shashank Singh: The Wrong Savior

In the recent DY Patil Group-managed T20 tournament in Mumbai, Shashank Singh took charge of the B side of the group. Notable players like Dinesh Karthik and Ayush Badoni were part of his team, and the addition of Shikhar Dhawan as a professional player added a significant boost. However, what's intriguing is the role reversal that occurred in the IPL. Despite this, insiders closely linked to Shashank, a seasoned 32-year-old cricketer renowned for his exploits in the Mumbai Maidans, view it more as a role appreciation than a mere reversal.

When it Mattered the Most

Shashank rose to the occasion, earning praise from his captain. Despite a string of average performances in the initial three games, he turned the tables on Thursday night with a spectacular innings, leading his team to an extraordinary victory with an unbeaten 61 runs—a performance likely to be remembered as the highlight of the season. The match saw Punjab Kings on the ropes, trailing at 111 for 5 while chasing a daunting 200 runs.

In a remarkable turnaround, Shashank took control of the chase, stunning the audience at the massive Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad with a barrage of boundaries and sixes. His six off Noor Ahmed, considered the standout bowler of the night, in the 10th over was a turning point, followed swiftly by another six off Umesh Yadav in the next over. Defying expectations, he slog-swept Rashid Khan, known for his difficult-to-hit deliveries, and then dispatched Mohit Sharma for a crucial six over deep mid-wicket. These shots reduced the target to seven runs in the final over, which Shashank sealed with a boundary off the penultimate delivery.

Ashutosh Sharma's cameo of 31 off 17 balls added valuable support, but it was Shashank's unwavering determination that stole the show. His 29-ball unbeaten knock, featuring six fours and four sixes, secured an unlikely victory for the visiting team, leaving the 60,000-strong home crowd in stunned silence.

A Mark to Remember

This could indeed mark a breakthrough moment for Shashank in this season's cricketing journey. Despite being a seasoned campaigner in the domestic circuit, having represented teams like Mumbai, Chhattisgarh, and Puducherry, Shashank's IPL journey has been quite the ride. He initially played for SunRisers Hyderabad before finding a new home with Punjab Kings. His cricketing foundation was laid in Mumbai, where he honed his skills under the tutelage of the late Vidya Paradkar, a renowned coach known for nurturing talents like Ajinkya Rahane and Zaheer Khan.

Working for the DY Patil Group, Shashank has primarily showcased his talent in Mumbai cricket circles. Key figures like Abey Kuruvilla, a former Indian fast bowler now serving as a general manager at BCCI, have played pivotal roles in his development as a cricketer.

The Wrong Saviour

Shashank's entry into the Punjab Kings squad had its own share of drama. Following his acquisition at the auction in Dubai for his base price of Rs 20 lakh, there was initial confusion within the Punjab camp due to another cricketer sharing his name in the domestic scene. This confusion led to speculation about a mistaken purchase, prompting Punjab Kings to clarify the situation. However, after his stellar performance on Thursday night, there's no doubt that Punjab Kings now have the genuine article in Shashank Singh, solidifying his position in the team and potentially heralding a new chapter in his career.

Watch his exceptional innings here:

The game witnessed a match-winning partnership between Punjab Kings' dynamic duo, Shashank Singh and impact sub Ashutosh Sharma. Ashutosh's contribution was crucial as he matched Singh's shot-making prowess, highlighted by his three boundaries off an over from Azmatullah Omarzai. Together, they amassed 18 runs off the penultimate over delivered by Mohit Sharma, with each batter smashing him for a powerful six.

As the tension mounted, the equation boiled down to 7 runs needed off the final over, entrusted to Darshan Nalkande, who hadn't bowled an over until then. Despite Nalkande dismissing Sharma with a catch at long on, luck favored Singh as he managed an outside-edged boundary before securing a leg-bye off the penultimate ball.

This thrilling sequence brought a dramatic conclusion to a match that seemed to be following a predictable path, with the Titans holding the upper hand until the Kings staged a remarkable comeback, turning the tide in their favor.

While Shashank Singh may not have initially fit the exact mold that Punjab Kings were seeking in the auction, his performance throughout this season, especially today, has cemented his place as an indispensable player in the team's lineup. Stepping in when Punjab Kings were struggling at four wickets down for just 70 runs in the ninth over, Shashank displayed remarkable composure and resilience, injecting a vital energy into the innings when it was needed the most. His ability to handle pressure and deliver when it counts has undoubtedly made him an indispensable asset for the team, ensuring that he's now a name that cannot be dropped from the playing eleven.

Written by: Anurag Singh