Jammu and Kashmir boy Abdul Samad made his Indian Premier League debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Delhi Capitals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
Sunrisers beat Capitals by 15 runs to register its first win of the season. Right-hander Samad will be satisfied as he made the most of the seven balls he faced. He smashed a six and a four to remain unbeaten on 12. On the field, he also caught Shreyas Iyer off Rashid Khan.
His captain, David Warner, encourages youth involvement in the club. “It is great to give these young guys an opportunity because where else to show your talent when you can do it against the world’s best. You need to have that belief that you can do well.
“We needed someone at the back end. We brought him in because we knew he bowls leg-spinners as well. We knew what he was capable of. He is a good power-hitter. I have seen him hit long balls and I was very impressed,” he told reporters after the victory over the Capitals.
Warner feels the involvement of the youth brings in energy in the group. “The great thing about the youth is the enthusiasm and passion. They want to learn, they are really picking our brains and trying to get the upper edge. They are trying to know how we go about our business. We want to play with freedom. Let them play calm and clear,” he said.
‘A big call’
Sunrisers wanted to field a batting-heavy side against Delhi to put runs on the board. Mohammad Nabi had to make way for New Zealand star batsman Kane Williamson. Eventually, it was the Kiwi’s 26-ball 41 that took the side to a formidable total (162 for 4).
But Warner assures Nabi will not warm the bench throughout the tournament. “It was a big call but at the end of the day if we get our top four batting right and back our bowlers, we will come good. For us, it is important to establish in the middle. Moving forward, Nabi will come in as well,” said the left-hander, who had a 77-run opening stand with Jonny Bairstow after early jitters.
‘A bit of luck’
“They did well in the Powerplay, with the change of pace, by restricting me and Jonny. They had good fields for us and we couldn’t find gaps on either side. At the end of the day, it is about having a bit of luck. We could have both got out. We knuckled down and played our way,” he said.
Left-arm spinner Abhishek Sharma was another youngster who impressed by playing the perfect supporting act (0 for 34) to Rashid Khan. “Rashid knows what he has to do. He bowls stump-to-stump to build up a lot of pressure. He knew he had a big role with the young Abhishek on the other side who bowled four overs without getting hit in the back end,” said Warner.
Sunrisers will meet Chennai Super Kings next in Dubai on October 2 (Sport Star)