Ravichandran Ashwin Thanks GT For Unearthing Tamil Nadu's Gem Sai Sudharsan
Sudharsan scored a fine 96 vs CSK in IPL 2023 Final (AP Photo)
On the night of the final, Sai Sudharsan played a knock for the ages, a 96 off just 47 deliveries, to help the Gujarat Titans post 214/4 against the mighty Chennai Super Kings. The 21-year-old notched up the highest score by an uncapped Indian in an IPL final. However, Sudharsan's claim-to-fame innings came after much scrutiny and hardship.
The Tamil Nadu-based cricketer was with the Titans during their triumph in IPL 2022 and played a few exceptional innings, but his strike rate was questionable. The case was the same in Qualifier 2 against Mumbai Indians, where he got retired out at the fag-end of the innings and through the initial part of his knock in the finale clash.
Kevin Pietersen, on-air commentating in the game, criticised the batter for his low strike rate and said an eleven-number batter could strike at this rate (when Sudharsan was batting at six off 9).
However, the Southpaw batter used his talent like a shield and ramped in front of the Super Kings. Suddenly, runs started flowing off his willow, and anything he touched rushed past the fence. But, unfortunately, fuel in Sudharsan's tank in the last over of the first innings when Matheesha Pathirana found him plumb in front of the stumps.
The batter's state-mate and veteran Indian off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, tweeted an appreciation post for the young batter and the Gujarat franchise.
"Sai Sudharsan from Alwarpet cc to Jolly Rovers cc to Tamil Nadu cricket team took 3 years. Where next? Well done GT on picking him at base price," Ashwin tweeted after the first innings of the final.
Sadly for Sudharsan and GT, Chennai's batters outsmarted them in the rain-curtailed chase, as brave efforts from Devon Conway, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, and lastly, Ravindra Jadeja saw CSK bagging their historic fifth IPL title.
The off-spinner, who is in London for WTC Final 2023, even congratulated his former IPL team, saying, "Congratulations @ChennaiIPL on yet another title. #number5 what a game and what a finish. A season to remember for @gujarat_titans too."
Not just Ashwin, but Sudharsan's 96 bagged him praises from some profound names such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ian Bishop, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, GT's skipper Hardik Pandya, Robin Uthappa and many more.