Sandeep Sharma; the man with the golden arm

Sandeep Sharma picked up his best figures in the IPL. Source (X)

If there is an award for one of the most underrated players in the IPL, it might go to Sandeep Sharma. After a stellar start to the season, where he played a crucial role in Rajasthan Royals’ victories over Lucknow Super Giants and Delhi Capitals, Sandeep unfortunately missed the next five games due to injury. However, he has returned stronger than ever. With 118 matches and 125 wickets under his belt, and an economy rate of 7.86, he is truly an IPL great. His performance against Mumbai Indians, taking 5 wickets for 18 runs, proves exactly why he is the man with the golden arm.

Usually a death-overs bowler, Sandeep was given a different role against MI, when he was asked to open the bowling with Trent Bolt. Despite not having the express pace, he excels at hitting the right lengths with a hint of movement both ways, which creates havoc for the batsmen facing him. In the game against MI, Sandeep stuck to the basics and focused on his strengths to dismiss the free-flowing Ishan Kishan and Surya Kumar Yadav early on. With wickets falling early, the medium pacer put Royals well ahead in the contest within the first six overs.

Sandeep executed perfectly at the latter end of the innings by again looking to put the ball in the right areas with the breakthroughs of Tim David, Tilak Varma, and Gerald Coetzee. It is fascinating to see how he maintains such a calm composure when going about bowling his spells, which helps him deliver even under tense situations.

Sandeep seems to know his role and he has now inscribed his name in the record books by becoming the first Indian pacer to claim a five-wicket haul in the IPL history for Royals.

For more sports content: