Who is Suyash Sharma, KKR’s 19-year-old spinner who impressed on IPL debut vs RCB

Suyash removed Anuj Rawat and Dinesh Karthik in the same over before accounting for Karn Sharma to finish with 3 for 30.

Published : Apr 06, 2023 23:24 IST - 10 MINS READ

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Suyash Sharma impressed on his IPL debut.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Suyash Sharma impressed on his IPL debut. | Photo Credit: AP

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Suyash Sharma impressed on his IPL debut. | Photo Credit: AP

Not many had heard of Suyash Sharma until the leg-spinner made his debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Kolkata Knight Riders and claimed three wickets, paving the way for his team’s 81-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Before his first IPL rodeo, the youngster had only featured in age-group tournaments for and in Delhi, but coming in as an Impact Player, he teamed up with Varun Chakravarthy and spun a web around the RCB batters at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.

Suyash took three wickets versus RCB. Two of those came in the span of five deliveries when he took out Anuj Rawat and Dinesh Karthik in the 13th over. He removed Karn Sharma in the 15th over for his third scalp of the night. In his four overs, he conceded 30 runs.

The 19-year-old Suyash was roped in by Knight Riders at his base price of Rs. 20 lakh in the auction in December last year. KKR CEO Venky Mysore credited the discovery of the Delhi bowler to his franchise’s scouts who spotted him during an U-25 game in the national capital.


For former Delhi cricketer, Kartar Nath, it was a moment of pride to see Suyash come so far. Nearly seven years ago, Suresh Batra – a veteran cricket coach in Delhi – told Nath about a ‘very bright talent’. Soon after, Nath called Suyash for a trial and eventually picked to play for Dena Bank in the DDCA league.

“He bowled very good googlies and at first sight, we knew that this guy has huge potential. So, we roped him in for the Dena Bank team and he was given a stipend,” Nath told Sportstar.

Hailing from Bhajanpura in East Delhi, it has been a challenging journey for Suyash. Suyash is the youngest of three siblings and his elder brother and sister primarily support the family.

“His elder brother backed him a lot. He also played some local cricket, so despite the challenges, he ensured that Suyash continued his game,” Nath said

Before COVID-19, when Nath was associated with the Delhi U-19 team, he fought for Suyash’s selection in the team, but things didn’t work out. Last season, when former India international Gursharan Singh became a part of the Cricket Advisory Committee for Delhi, Nath requested Singh to have a look at the youngster. “Kartar told me about the boy and I was impressed with his bowling. He had some issues with paperwork, but DDCA president Rohan Jaitley ensured that things were sorted out and the selectors eventually picked him for the U-25 team,” Singh said.


Though he did not have a campaign to remember for the Delhi U-25 team, Suyash was flown down to the KKR academy in Mumbai before the IPL auction and asked to attend trials. “Before the auction, Abhishek (Nayar) called me to check on Suyash and a few other youngsters. And, I remember that we discussed his googlies and how he can be a surprise element for any team,” said Pankaj Singh, who was the coach of Delhi’s U-25 team last season.

“The unique thing about him is that he can bowl leg spin and googlies at good speeds. It is difficult for batters to pick his googlies,” Pankaj, a former India fast bowler, said.

Once he was roped in, the KKR team management ensured that he spent enough time in the nets, bettering his spin. People who saw him in the KKR nets say that Suyash would bowl for longer hours and some of the most seasoned batters in the business found it difficult to gauge his deliveries.

“We’ve seen him in our trial matches. He’s quick through the air. It’s difficult to pick him as he bowls both away from and into the batter. He has shown good attitude and fighting spirit throughout the camps,” KKR head coach Chandrakant Pandit said after watching Suyash’s debut performance.

“Ahead of the trials also, I spoke to him and advised a few things on how to keep his cool and perform to the best of his abilities at the trials. He definitely has the potential to do big things and should continue to contribute for KKR,” Pankaj said.


While Nath is elated to see his ward come a long way, he also remembers the time when Suyash’s mother called him up in 2020 saying that her son would not continue with the sport any longer. “Back then, things were not working out for Suyash and his mom called me up one day, saying that he would quit cricket. I told her to give him some time and have some patience. That was the COVID period and I requested her to allow him to play for a bit more. She listened to me,” he remembered.

That patience eventually paid off for Suyash. After his stint with Dena Bank, he also went on to play league cricket for Madras Club, and eventually broke into the U-25 team after which had a dream debut in the IPL.

Suyash Sharma of Kolkata Knight Riders.
Suyash Sharma of Kolkata Knight Riders. | Photo Credit: SPORTZPICS FOR IPL

Suyash Sharma of Kolkata Knight Riders. | Photo Credit: SPORTZPICS FOR IPL

However, Nath believes there is still room for improvement.

“He bowled only a few good deliveries. He needs to work hard, going forward. He has immense talent, but just needs to stay calm and perform well for KKR,” he said.

After years of trying to break into the big leagues, Suyash has made heads turn on one of the biggest platforms there are. It’s time to keep the momentum going.

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