Home > Features >

IPL 7: My aim is to swing at 135 kph, says rookie pacer Sandeep Sharma

Sandeep Sharma is eager to add more pace so that his swing bowling becomes more penetrative © IANS
Sandeep Sharma is eager to add more pace so that his swing bowling becomes more penetrative © IANS

By Taus Rizvi

Sandeep Sharma is not your everyday fast bowler. He is neither well-built nor overly aggressive. Soft-spoken but blessed with an uncanny knack of imitating his coaches (a talent he displays only in the dressing room), the 20-year-old turned heads in the UAE leg of Indian premier League (IPL) 2014 with his ability to generate sharp swing. The likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir will vouch for that.

Bought by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for Rs 85 lakh at the auction, Sharma is going great guns in the cash-rich league. With seven scalps in three games, the former India Under-19 player is unarguably one of the finds of this IPL. Mind you, he produced back-to-back man-of-the-match performances against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the UAE.

“I had a good season, starting with the Ranji Trophy. I focused on working on my swing, backed my strengths and worked on my weaknesses. This has helped me a lot. When I came into the IPL, I got to talk to Viru paaji (Virender Sehwag) who told me to concentrate on swing because it is difficult for any batsman to hit when the ball swings. I did the same and I have been getting the desired results,” Sharma told dna after his team’s practice session at the Wankhede on Friday.

Sharma’s popularity soared when he destroyed a rampaging Gayle’s stumps recently. This after the West Indian took Glenn Maxwell to the cleaners in the previous over. “It was amazing to get his wicket. We have seen him how he murders the bowlers. Obviously, I was under a lot of pressure. Everyone knows Gayle is a legend in this format. My plan was to bowl an away-going ball and, luckily, it swung big time and destroyed his stumps,” he said.

The Patiala-born Sharma, who represents Punjab in the Ranji Trophy, enjoys bowling to left-handers. Why? Because he ends up dishing out that effective away-going delivery. Apart from Gayle, Sharma has dismissed two other southpaws in Gambhir and Parthiv Patel. “The in-swinging delivery is my strength and I enjoy bowling to lefties because it goes out (away). At the same time, I am working on bowling out-swingers to right-handers. Death-bowling is another area I am working on. I don’t want to be a predictable bowler,” he said.

Sharma doesn’t want to remain just a swing bowler. He wants to bowl fast too. “When you swing the ball, batsmen can’t hit out easily. But I know I need to work on my pace too. I was bowling 120-125 kph the Under-19 World Cup in Australia in 2012 (it may be recalled that the Unmukt Chand-led side were crowned champions). Today, you will see I bowl 130 kph. However, my aim is to touch 135 now. Combining swing with pace will help me create trouble for batsman,” he added.

The IPL is a high-pressure tournament as every player has to deliver whenever an opportunity comes by. “There is not much planning and discussion in the Ranji Trophy. But here, it’s different. Here, you have a plan for every batsman and you discuss these things a lot. You are always under pressure; you have to keep performing. It’s about how you handle the pressure and expectations. I look up to the big players for help,” he said.

Apart from tasting big-league cricket, Sharma is also enjoying bowling with Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson. Ask him about what lessons he has taken from the Aussie, he says, “Mitchell is a different kind of bowler. I don’t talk to him about bowling. Just only mental aspect. He tells me how to avoid negative thoughts and bowl positively with control.”

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Taus Rizvi is a Principal Correspondent with DNA. A club-level cricketer, he believes cricket helps in knowing a person’s character. Taus can be followed on @rizvitaus on Twitter. The above news has been republished with permission from DNA, were it first appeared)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Kane, Devcich praise each others knock

Live Cricket Score Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions CLT20 2014: KKR labour to 4 wicket win

CLT20 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions (LL), Match 7: 5 key battles

Before Mitchell Marsh, Surinder Amarnath had hit sixes off last two balls to win a match in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014: Highlights

CLT20 2014: Mitchell Marsh stakes his claim for a spot in Australia’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad with late blitz for Perth Scorchers against Dolphins

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Hobart Hurricanes India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders Northern Knights

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Lahore Lions, Match 7, CLT20 2014: Gautam Gambhir half-century powers Kolkata to 4-wicket win

Gautam Gambhir dismissed; Kolkata Knight Riders 113 for 2

Robin Uthappa dismissed as Lahore Lions finally get a breakthrough

Gautam Gambhir brings up half-century against Lahore Lions

Kolkata Knight Riders reach 82 for no loss after 10 overs vs Lahore Lions

Steven Smith: I would love to bat at No 3 in ODI cricket

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions (LL), Match 7, CLT20 2014: KKR likely XI

CLT20 2014: Akshar Patel reaffirms all-round abilities

Cape Cobras vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 6, CLT20 2014: Cape Cobras’s likely XI

Cape Cobras vs Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 Match 6: Hobart Hurricane’s likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

670 Posts | 6 Fans

CLT20 2014: Kings Xi Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, final over

India’s medal winners on Day 2 at Asian Games 2014

Bigg Boss 8 Take Off Live Update: Minissha Lamba delivered inside the Bigg Boss house!

Asian Games 2014: Indian swimmers fail to qualify for finals

Round 2 in Android One war: New phones may hit market by December-end

Champions League T20 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) register sensational win against Lahore Lions in CLT20 2014

Customized tablets make way to India for Rs 5,000 onwards

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Kind people appear to be more attractive

Revealed: The real reason why Upen Patel agreed to do Bigg Boss 8

Bang Bang Dare: Hrithik Roshan challenges Priyanka Chopra to do handstand push-ups

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here