Anil Kumble compares: The former Indian captain expressed admiration for the rookie Punjab Kings batsman ahead of IPL 2021.
Tamil Nadu batsman Shahrukh Khan was among Indian Premier League franchise Punjab Kings’ 10 players who were included during the IPL 2021 auction held in Chennai in February.
With Punjab spending a grand total of INR 5.25 crore for the 25-year old hard-hitting right-hand batsman, he was their most expensive player among Indian players in this auction.
In the recently concluded season of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Khan had scored 88 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 220. While the number of runs aren’t a lot, him contributing in victories while batting in the lower middle-order speaks highly about his potential in the format.
Continuing his form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy most recently, Khan’s 198 runs in five innings had come at an average and strike rate of 66 and 105.88 respectively.
Anil Kumble compares Shahrukh Khan with Kieron Pollard
Batting in Punjab Kings’ nets ahead of the 14th season of the IPL, Khan appears to have impressed director of cricket Anil Kumble. Speaking in a video posted across Kings’ social media platforms, Kumble admitted that Khan’s big-hitting reminded him of his day at Mumbai Indians where he used to bowl to West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard.
“He reminds me a bit of [Kieron] Pollard, actually. When I was with Mumbai Indians, Pollard in the nets was dangerous. I used to bowl a bit [in the nets], and the first thing I used to tell him was don’t hit straight. Here I’m not even trying. I’m a lot older now and the body doesn’t take the bowling anymore. So, I’m not going to bowl at Shahrukh, for sure,” Kumble said in the video.
“He reminds me a bit of Pollard!”
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) April 4, 2021
After last playing in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2010, Kumble had served as a Chief Mentor of Indians from 2013-2015. It was under Kumble’s tutelage that Indians had won their first two IPL titles in 2013 and 2015 respectively.