Always wanted to play this kind of an under-pressure innings: Bipul Sharma
Sunrisers Hyderabad were 117 for six and needed 46 off 25 balls when Bipul Sharma joined his captain David Warner in the middle. The SRH skipper had not only held fort in the must-win game but was scoring bulk of the runs while also maintaining the required pace to keep the chase alive.
In a chat with iplt20 after the match, Bipul revealed that he was always keen to be able to play an innings like the one he did against the Gujarat Lions on Friday night. The left-hander scored 27 off 11 balls, while Warner contributed 19 in the unbroken 46-run stand to take the team into the VIVO IPL 2016 final. The lower-order batsman smashed three sixes as he helped ensure that his captainís efforts didnít go in vain.
Excerpts from the interview:
What did you feel were your teamís chances like when you come out to bat?
It is fifty-fifty in the IPL. It was fifty-fifty for us. I hit a few sixes and it went our way. So Iíd say it is always fifty-fifty.
What was going through your mind when you came out to bat in what was another knockout game for the team?
Nothing much. I have waited to play this type of an innings, because you hardly get (a chance to play) that type of an innings in your life. So I was just waiting for that. I have been part of the IPL for the last six-seven years but never got a chance like that. But today I got the chance and I made the most of it.
What was the conversation between Warner and you in the middle?
Nothing much, he just told me to hand him the strike or if the ball was in my area then to just hit it. I did that.
Preparation-wise what have you guys done differently that has helped the team?
We just gelled together nicely and we executed what we planned and that worked for us this year. There was nothing special that we did. We just executed what the coach and the captain told us.
You had the best seat in the stadium to watch your captain bat. Tell us about Warnerís knock.
We know that he is a good hitter of the ball. We just wanted him to stay till the end and he did that. He has done that for us in the past matches as well. He is a world-class batsman and we hope that he can continue doing that in the final as well.
What has been the talk like in the team with back-to-back knockout games to play?
You have to be on your toes all the time, because one bad game and you are out of the tournament. We have to take it one day, one game at a time; never think about (it being) a knockout and just give your best for the day.
Would you say that your team is better prepared for the pressure of the final as the team has already played two high-pressure knockout games?
I think (since) we started as underdogs. There was less pressure on us because no team thinks about us in that way. So it is always good for us. (There is) no pressure on us, so we will go and play freely in the final also.
How do personally rate this knock?
I think it is one of the best innings that I have played in front of a large crowd and a live (televised) game. One hardly gets this kind of an opportunity and I enjoyed that inning.