Atul Sharma has been discussed for the last month as India’s next fast bowling sensation and maybe the world’s fastest bowler. We had also mentioned about him around a month back as Atul Sharma was speculated as the world’s fastest bowler and perhaps India’s first pace sensation. Atul Sharma was hired by the Rajasthan Royals team for IPL T20 season 2 and all cricket fans were eagerly waiting to see him bowl in an IPL match. But there was no news about Atul Sharma for the past one month or so and he did not play for the Rajasthan Royals squad in the IPL matches. On the other hand, new fast bowlers like Kamran Khan emerged from the Rajasthan Royals squad and made it into the limelight soon. But all cricket fans were still waiting to hear and see the supposedly world’s fastest bowler Atul Sharma in action. As most of you might know Atul Sharma was undergoing training in the reputed Maverick Cricket Coaching under the able guidance and coaching of express pace bowling coach Ian Pont. They have finally released Atul Sharma’s video as he goes through rigorous fitness sessions and bowling practices. He seems to be very well built and the you can watch his exclusive video of his exercising and bowling session in the official Maverick Cricket Coaching website here. It has also been mentioned in the website that he had suffered from a shoulder injury during a fielding accident at a practice match in South Africa from which he is recovering soon. Let us hope that Atul Sharma recovers soon enough from his injury to play the IPL and he bowls to all Indian cricket fan’s expectations.
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Kamran Khan has been in news for the past few days after he bowled an excellent yorker in the warm up match against Rajasthan Royals. He was also praised by his captain Shane Warne who named him the tornado and said he is a pace sensation to watch out in this IPL. Kamran Khan has been on the rise since his selection in the IPL team. He has never played a first class match and he was picked up by the Royals after they saw his bowling in a t20 match in Mumbai. However, Kamran has had to pass through a lot of difficulties before he reached even the IPL. The rookie pacer from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, India was struggling with poverty when the IPL chance came along. He economic conditions was such that he used to sleep on railway platforms as he did not have money to book hotel rooms. He just had one pair of clothes and torn shoes for his trials and he often bowled with an empty stomach or just a meal of tea and biscuits. But IPL has changed a lot for the 18 year old talent Kamran Khan. He was signed up for $24,000 and Kamran Khan is happy with the contract. However, he said that he wished that the money would have come a bit earlier as he would not had to lose his mother two years ago. Kamran says that after sleeping in railway stations he felt quite uncomfortable sleeping in five star hotels of South Africa on his first night.
The pacer has been praised by his captain and coach Shane Warne who said that Kamran bowls at 140 plus and with some guidance Kamran will be able to develop into a great bowler in the future. Kamran is overwhelmed by is success in the last few weeks and everybody is supporting him too. But let us hope that he does not leave his concentration and becomes a very find for India in the long term.
Rajasthan Royals had a warm up match against Cape Cobras today named “Clash of the Champions” . Cape Cobras are the South African domestic T20 champions and Rajasthan Royals were the winners of IPL season 1 and so it was marketed as the clash of the the winners. The match started interestingly with Cape Cobras winning the toss and deciding to bat. The Rajasthan Royals team was mainly filled with the Indian domestic players of Rajasthan Royals. The Indian pacers of Rajasthan Royals started out well with Amit Singh, Trivedi and Kamran Khan. Kamran Khan was more prominent of the lot although he bowled only a single over giving only one run and taking a wicket. His pace was good and he was also extracting good swing from the wicket. The Cobras struggled against the Indian pacers and were 65/5 after 11.5 overs. But then their batsmen started hitting well and the Cobras ended at a respectable score of 142/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
The Rajasthan Royals batsmen were quite impressive initially with Victorian batsman Rob Quiney (34 off 22 balls) hitting the Cobras for fours and sixes. But then the rest of the Royals batsmen got out cheaply with some very good bowling and fielding performance by the Cobras. Shane Warne (21 off 19 balls) tried to save the innings but it was too late. At last they got all out in 19 overs for 115 runs and the Cobras won the match by 27 runs.
However, the positives of the game for Rajasthan Royals was that their international players looked in good from with Quiney, Warne and Henderson looking good. The other good thing was the Indian bowlers in RR squad bowled some good spells too especially Kamran Khan and Amit Singh.
The Rajasthan Royals squad are looking a good unit though they do not look as powerful as the other squads and I doubt if they would be able to retain their title this year. Let us hope that the Rajasthan Royals squad performs well when they play their full side in the IPL T20 season 2.
Andrew Flintoff is quite hopeful that his appearance in the IPL T20 season 2 will help him in learning a lot about the T20 game. Flintoff will be playing his first IPL match for Chennai Super Kings on April 18 against Mumbai Indians after CSK had bought him for $1.55 in the IPL auctions this year. Last year the English players were not allowed to play in IPL but four English players have been bought by the IPL franchisees this year including Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen. Flintoff has been suffering from injuries and problems for quite sometime but he thinks the IPL would help him revive his body once again. And he believes that this would help him immensely in preparations for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in England which would follow the IPL. He also said that he would great benefit being in Chennai Super Kings as he would be able to learn from great players like Dhoni, Hayden and Muralidharan. He said that he would be speaking to the other Indian guys too and try to ‘pick their brains’. He believes that the league is a very good platform to exchange knowledge between the players and he will also benefit from it.
However, Flintoff is also worried that the English players should not reveal too much information about their team-mates while conversing with their IPL team-mates as that might be detrimental for England team. Flintoff’s second match would be against his English team-mate Kevin Pietersen’s side Bangalore Royal Challengers on April 20. Anyways lets wait and see how IPL would help Flintoff and how Flintoff would help IPL.