Punjab Kings’ one of latest recruits Shahrukh Khan has impressed its head coach and director of cricket operations, Anil Kumble, during the team’s net sessions ahead of IPL 2021. Shahrukh Khan was one of the players to watch out for in the IPL 2021 auction and went for a mind-boggling amount of INR 5.25 crores after starting at INR 20 lakhs. Anil Kumble opined that the 25-year old reminded him of Kieron Pollard.
Shahrukh Khan’s performances in the 2019 Tamil Nadu Premier League of 2019 put him on the map as he mustered 194 runs in seven matches, keeping a strike rate of 138.57. In 31 T20 games, the Chennai-born cricketer has 293 runs, maintaining a strike rate of 131.39. Punjab Kings, who often had issues with finishing games in IPL 2020, could benefit from Khan’s inclusion.
Having served as Mumbai Indians’ mentor previously, Anil Kumble stated that Shahrukh Khan appeared as destructive as Kieron Pollard in the nets. The 132-Test veteran recalled advising Pollard not tho hit straight; however, with the body not able to take the bowling anymore, he does not.
“Yeah, he reminds me a bit of Pollard actually. When I was with Mumbai Indians, Pollard in the nets was dangerous. I used to bowl a bit (in the nets), and the first thing I used to tell him was don’t hit straight. Here I’m not even trying. I’m a lot older now, and the body doesn’t take the bowling anymore. So, I’m not going to bowl at Shahrukh, for sure,” Kumble said in the video uploaded by Punjab Kings’ official Twitter handle.
It feels amazing to be here and the inputs have been great: Shahrukh Khan
Sharukh Khan highlighted that it feels incredible to spend time with the greats of the game and taking inputs by having plenty of conversations with them. The 25-year old remembered the auction day when at the Holkar Stadium, he told his physio to call him when his name comes up. Shahrukh recalled that after finishing his practice sessions and hopping in the bus, grabbing the first seat and his name came up. The Chennai-born cricketer hardly expected his name to generate as many bids as it did.
“It feels amazing to be here and the inputs have been great. I have been having a lot of conversations with everyone around here, getting to learn a lot as well. The auction started at around 3 PM I guess, and we were practising at the Holkar Stadium, obviously I had to bat and bowl a bit. So I told our physio that ‘please let me know when my name comes up. I’ll take a break and come and see the auction.’ Luckily my name didn’t come up, and it didn’t bother my batting much. Right after we finished practice and we hopped onto the bus, I still remember sitting on the first seat and my name came up. My heart started pumping, but I didn’t expect it to rise as much as it did,” Khan stated.