IPL 2023, SRH vs KKR | Who said what ft. Varun Chakravarthy, Shardul Thakur

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Varun Chakravarthy’s superb figures of 1/20, ably assisted by Shardul Thakur’s 2/23, helped KKR defend 38 runs off the final 30 balls against SRH on Thursday. The Purple and Gold Brigade restricted the hosts to 166/8 after asking them to chase 172 to stay in the hunt for playoffs qualifications.

Sunrisers Hyderabad endured their sixth loss of IPL 2023 in Match 47 of the ongoing edition, that too in their own backyard against eighth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders. The SRH bowling attack bowled supremely in the death overs to remain KKR eventually to 171/9 after they were going strong till 14 overs, posting 127/4. But it all went in vain after a clinical bowling display by KKR, who picked up wickets in regular intervals, did not allow them to get the job done, as they fell five runs short of the target.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Aiden Markram, who took 40 balls for his 41, admitted his struggles in the beginning caused them the defeat, which he termed a ‘tough one to swallow’. At the same time, he lauded his countrymate Heinrich Klaasen, who struck at 180 for his 20-ball 36.

It's a difficult one to swallow. Klaasy (Klaasen) batted beautifully. I struggled quite a bit upfront and partially quite a big reason for us coming up short I believe. But Klaasen played well, took a bit of pressure off me, and then I could eventually find my feet. But those partnerships, we need to drag out slightly longer and those partnerships are the ones that win you the game. Hopefully, it's a situation that brings out the best in us. I thought we played a lot of great cricket tonight so to not get two points is not ideal and not great. But there's a bit of confidence we can take from tonight and get four out of four.

Aiden Markram

Along with Shardul and Varun, KKR skipper Rana also praised the whole KKR bowling unit, which included the uncapped Harshit Rana (4-0-27-1).

In the middle, we bowled a few loose overs and took a gamble with Shardul and Vaibhav and they managed to get both set batters and that's how we made a comeback in this game. We had to get them out because if they bat till the end, then surely the game would have gone out of our reach. I had a doubt if I had to go with a spinner/pacer and backed my spinner to do the job. I always see who is the best spinner in the game and that's how I decide whom to back on a given day.

Nitish Rana

Shardul, who dismissed the dangerous Klaasen and Abhishek Sharma, was delighted with his performance and revealed what he told Varun before he went to bowl the final over.

I think the stage was set for me to get the wicket. If I get a wicket or two there, we are in the game and that's exactly what happened. [On captain Nitish Rana asking Varun to bowl the final over ahead of himself] The captain had a feeling that he should bowl Varun Chakaravarthy. So as a player, I just have to give confidence to our captain to go with his instincts. There's no point going in there with any kind of doubt. If he feels he needs to bowl Varun, I said go with your intuition. It was a little sticky. I felt if you bowled length balls, you would have been fine. If you see previous games, something needs to happen and we would lose a game from the winning point. It's been difficult, not easy with injuries, so this win was much needed. [Getting Klaasen out] On this kind of pitch, I thought about a cutter but the most important thing was to execute the length and hope that he plays a cross-batted shot and miscues one.

Shardul Thakur

Meanwhile, Varun, the man of the match, admitted his heart was beating so fast during the final over and felt satisfied after comprehensively defending eight runs in the last six balls.

My heartbeat was definitely touching 200 [beats per minute] but I just wanted to challenge them on the longer end so that was my plan. [On gripping the slick ball in the rain] Definitely, the ball was slipping a lot and so my best bet was the longer side. That was the only thing on my mind. My first over went for 12 and Markram played some amazing shots. That's how the game goes. It's very important to stay in the process. Once emotions set in, I might tend to get carried away and forget my process. Last year, I was bowling at around 85 kph. So I went back and was trying out many things and I realized that once my revolutions go down, my speed goes down. So I worked on my revs and that really helps.

Varun Chakravarthy

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