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Sai Kishore: 'We Felt We Were 10 Short' But 'Competed Really Well'| GUGOBET IPL 2024!

Sai Kishore
Sai Kishore

The left-arm spinner is relishing his role in the Titans attack, and the prospect of batters playing out Rashid Khan and coming after him.

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As a spinner, dew can be your biggest nightmare. And when the opponents are cruising at 107 for 2, needing 62 off 48, the challenges are that much greater.

Sai Kishore Made His Mark

R Sai Kishore had bowled three wicketless overs for 19 up until this point. Rohit Sharma was set on 43, and another few overs of him would have all but closed the door on the Gujarat Titans. It's at this point that Sai Kishore made his mark.

"I was actually expecting dew to play a major role," he said later. "The ball was wet, but for some strange reason, the ball was still holding on the wicket. Usually it slides on, but I was surprised by the amount of purchase I was getting. So I tried to go into the wicket and mix my pace, and go slower through the air."

Sai Kishore Conjure Something Special

Sai Kishore hadn't featured for Titans all of last season due to team-combination considerations. Even his five appearances prior to that, in 2022, had been staggered. He needed to conjure something special to keep Titans alive, and he did, by simply pulling his length back a touch, and getting the ball to dip.

Rohit fell over attempting a sweep and was trapped plumb in front. Sai Kishore had brought the game back on an even keel. His figures of 1 for 24 played a key part in Mumbai's slowdown, particularly in the second half of their chase, where Titans varied their lengths and bowled into the pitch to deny the batters.

Sai Kishore Said

"Because the wicket was two-paced, we tried to go into the wicket a lot more, trust our length a lot more than directly going for yorkers," Sai Kishore said. "That resulted in getting a lot of wickets. It was attacking bowling even if the situation was otherwise."

At Titans, Sai Kishore has had to adapt to being the second spinner to Rashid Khan. In the TNPL or for Tamil Nadu, he's used as a trump card in the Powerplay. This change of role can be tough, but for someone longing for opportunities, it was the opening he needed.

Sync With Rashid is There

"In the other teams where play I usually do the lead role. To do the second role makes it even more exciting," Sai Kishore said. "Most people are going to play off Rashid and come after me. That makes the challenge more exciting.

"That sync [with Rashid] is there, we discuss the game very well. One of the strengths of this team is everyone sticks together. Jayant [Yadav, the offspinner] also used to come in [as a reserve player] and say 'do this, do that, it's going good.' The communication is always there, which is superb."

Titans Were At Least 10 Short

Sai Kishore felt Titans were at least 10 short of where they'd hoped to be with the bat. The plan all along was to remain in the game for as long as they could and then seize key moments, like they did in the death overs with Mohit Sharma and Rashid building on Sai Kishore's work.

"We felt we were 10 short, but the thing about this whole team and how it has been run over the last two years is we give a lot of emphasis to competing. Whether we win or lose, we're proud of the way we play. We competed really well. That was the talk given by [head coach] Ashish Nehra as well.

Finished As The Highest Wicket-Taker

"All credit to the culture he has set up over the last two years. People are not thinking about the result [alone], they're focusing about competing and staying in the game."

Sai Kishore is coming off a sensational Ranji Trophy season, which he finished as the highest wicket-taker. He left his imprint as a captain too, backing young players who thrived because of role clarity.

At Titans Sai Kishore is Relishing

At Titans, Sai Kishore is relishing any opportunity he gets to play, prepared to do the tough job without fearing the consequences. "When you bowl four overs on the trot, it's like a one-day game, you can be in rhythm a lot easier.

"With the Impact Player rule, we're playing six bowlers. I'm getting the role where I'm bowling four overs on the trot in the middle. I'm open to bowling one-over spells. In [the Syed] Mushtaq Ali [Trophy] or TNPL, that's how I use my overs but with the quality of bowlers we have, am getting to bowl four overs which I'm enjoying."


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