Sai Sudharsan played for Surrey versus Hampshire in the first division county championship from September 26 to 29 in Southampton, arrived here on Saturday (Sep. 30) and opened the innings for Rest of India in the Irani Cup on Sunday!
“I arrived at 7.30 yesterday (Saturday) night. 29th was the last day there, so 29th evening I took the 10-hour flight to Mumbai, and came here from Mumbai,” he said after the first day’s play versus Ranji champion Saurashtra.
He was on the pitch for 56.2 overs. It wasn’t easy. “When I was playing, I felt dizzy. Because it (the temperature) was 38-39 degrees today. So hot! There (in England) it was 15-16 degrees. So, definitely I felt dizzy. When I had batted through the first session, I felt like I had completed a day’s play!”
The difference in the time zone meant he had to change his sleep pattern and that has played its bit.
“I think I had just four hours’ sleep (on Saturday night). When I started the game here, it was 2 ‘O’ clock in the morning there (in England). So, I had gotten used to being in sleep at that time. Obviously, I had been there for only one month. But because of that time difference, it was a bit difficult, was a bit dizzy, but I adjusted and played.”
He not only successfully adjusted his mindset, but also adjusted to the day’s wicket quite well. There was unpredictable turn and bounce. But it has helped that on his last two days in England he’d played on a similar wicket.
“But definitely, over the course of the innings, I felt extra tired.”
So, he had pushed himself, and adapted better, and the result? 72 runs off 164 balls with seven fours. Five other batters scored in the thirties. Given the context, the 21-year-old’s is a brave innings!
Also, it is very rare for a first division county team to sign an uncapped player. It might even be the case that Sai Sudharsan is the first uncapped Indian player to be signed by a county team.
Surrey has approached him through the director of Gujarat Titans, Vikram Solanki. He had signed for three matches and been there for around a month. So, what was the biggest and obvious takeaway?
“I’ve learnt how to better approach swing and seam bowling. I feel my batting has become compact.”
Sai Sudharsan promises and Yash Dhull gifts gloves to budding cricketers
Thirty-seven-year-old Himanshu Patel had travelled over 300 kilometers with his daughter and wife by bus from Surat to watch his club teammate Kushang Patel play for Saurashtra.
Kushang and Himanshu are teammates at the Pithawala Sports Club in Surat.
Kushang wasn’t in the playing XI, but Himanshu’s 11-year-old daughter Liza Patel, a budding cricketer, got the chance to get photographed with the players, especially with Sai Sudharsan.
She interacted with the 21-year-old cricketer and he has promised to give her the gloves he’d batted with and scored 72 on Sunday. He has said he wants to get done with batting with the same gloves in the second innings.
Another budding cricketer Nadyapara Kaushal, a class X student, was lucky enough to get gloves from Yash Dhull! He’d come with his friend and fellow cricketer Deep Maru.
Nadyapara had also been to the recently-played ODI between India and Australia here. He’s gotten himself photographed with Shreyas Iyer then.
“Does Shreyas Iyer play in the TNPL (Tamil Nadu Premier League)?” he asks.
When he gets to know Shreyas doesn’t, he says, “He’s Iyer, right? So, I assumed he’ll be playing(!)“
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