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Shahrukh Khan can play all three formats, says Wasim Jaffer

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Shahrukh Khan smashed last ball six against Karnataka to win the SMAT 2021 final


Shahrukh Khan can play all three formats, says Wasim Jaffer

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SportsCafe Desk


Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer has said that the Tamil Nadu batsman Shahrukh Khan can play all three formats and not just T20 format. Shahrukh is in the limelight after he played a knock of unbeaten 33 runs from 15 balls and hit the six off the last ball to win the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021-22 concluded with Tamil Nadu winning the tournament by beating Karnataka by four wickets. The final turned out to be one of the most exciting matches as Shahrukh Khan hit a six off the last ball to seal the win for Tamil Nadu. Karnataka posted a total of 151/7 batting first with Abhinav Manohar scoring 46 runs from 37 balls for them. Sai Kishore impressed with the ball as he picked three wickets giving away just 12 runs. 

Chasing the target, N Jagadessan scored 41 runs for Tamil Nadu before Shahrukh Khan played a unbeaten knock of 33 runs from 15 balls Shahrukh is now in the limelight with his exploits in the SMAT final and many see him as a T20 Specialist. Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer is of the opinion that if he works on his technique he can play all three formats.

“He can improve technically. Even in T20, there is technique. Not like Test cricket, of course, but if you look at the big hitters, they are technically fine. I feel he can play all three formats. He has the potential,” Jaffer said to Indian Express.

 “People are quick to tag someone, that he can play only T20 or only Ranji. I told him that until you reach the age of say, 33-34, and your fitness holds, you should look to adapt yourself to play all three formats.”

“He is very young still, so he should aim to score runs in Ranji too. I don’t think it is that hard, if you put your mind to it. It is not that your game becomes completely different, you just become more selective. That is why if your basic technique is good, you will be able to adapt without too much difficulty. We have worked with him on that, and if he is able to improve his technique a bit, his conversion rate will improve even in the IPL.”

Shahrukh has been known as a batsman who plays the role of a finisher in domestic cricket. Also playing for Punjab Kings in the IPL, he has displayed his ability to play big shots in the lower order. Jaffer thinks that Shahrukh is a special talent as he hits sixes against 140 KMPH pace coming to bat after the 14th or 15th over. 

“Indian talents who play well down the order (in T20) are very rare. Most of the talent you find is concentrated in the top order,” he opined.

“You need power, six-hitting ability. To hit sixes consistently against 140kph pace, right after going in around the 14th or 15th overs, and still keep your reputation intact is hard. I think that is the toughest job in T20. Your strength and execution have to be at a premium level. So that way, he is a special talent.”

Punjab Kings brought Shahrukh at a price tag of INR 5.25 Crore at the IPL auction in February. Punjab Kings batting coach Jaffer shared that Shahrukh was a bit nervous but settled down eventually. 

“He had come in with a big price tag. So that pressure is always there. My message to him was to continue to prepare the way he had been doing for Tamil Nadu, there was no need to change just because he was playing IPL. There was no need to take pressure that one had to prove people wrong or had to live up to expectations,” he explained.

 “This is not to say that he will start winning games for the franchise as soon as he comes in, but he will learn as he goes along.”

Shahrukh was given the role of finisher by Punjab Kings and he averaged 21.85 with a strike rate of 134.21 in 11 matches of the IPL 2021. He also played a vital knock of 22 runs from 9 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders while chasing the target. Jaffer opined that Shahrukh is temperamentally strong and does not get carried away.

“We interacted a lot during the IPL. Temperamentally he is very strong. He has a very sound head on his shoulders. He thinks the right things and does not get carried away. He follows a stable lifestyle too,” he remarked.

 “He listens to advice, has a good approach towards learning. He will keep asking questions, he wants to improve. He spends extra time in the nets. He grasped the things that (coaches) Anil (Kumble) and Andy (Flower) told him. That is the right attitude to have.”

 “I don’t think he lets the occasion get to him, that he is playing the IPL or facing some big bowler. That is his strength. He is one for the future. In the next one or two years, he will be very close to playing for India.”

 Some of the players in the India team who have entered the national team with their performance in the IPL. Jaffer is of the opinion that he can grab the attention of selectors with some good knocks in the IPL.

 “Definitely. Why not? If he can play some good knocks in the IPL… it is our standard now, whoever does well in the IPL comes into the reckoning straight away. He’ll be more mature and wiser this time. And he will go at a good price in the auction, there is no doubt about that,” he concluded.

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