Abhishek Sharma said Yuvraj Singh was very happy when I got out for duck

Abhishek Sharma, Yuvraj Singh

Young Indian opener Abhishek Sharma’s debut in the T20I series against Zimbabwe was a rollercoaster ride. Dismissed for a duck in the first match, which India lost, Abhishek Sharma faced initial disappointment. However, his mentor Yuvraj Singh’s enigmatic response – calling it a “good start.”

The mystery was soon unraveled in the second T20I. Bouncing back in spectacular fashion, Abhishek unleashed his talent, smashing a breathtaking century off just 46 balls. His explosive knock propelled India to a dominant 100-run victory, leveling the series at 1-1.

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In a video posted by the BCCI, Abhishek revealed his conversation with Yuvraj after the first match. “I spoke to him yesterday (Saturday) also, and I don’t know why he was very happy when I got out on zero. He said that’s a good start, but he must be very happy and proud just like my family,” Abhishek said.

This cryptic message hinted at Yuvraj’s faith in Abhishek’s abilities. The 2011 World Cup hero has been Abhishek’s mentor for several years, working tirelessly to refine his cricketing skills both on and off the field. Abhishek acknowledged this crucial role, stating, “It’s all because of him as well, the hard work he has put in (shaping) me. (For) two-three years, he has worked really hard not only on my cricket but off the field (life) as well.”

Following his match-winning knock, Abhishek Sharma called Yuvraj to share his triumph. Yuvraj’s response was one of pride and encouragement: “Well done very proud, you deserve it. Many more (such innings) to come this is just the start,” he said.

The quick turnaround between matches proved beneficial for India. With no time to dwell on the first defeat, the team bounced back quickly, showcasing their resilience. “We lost yesterday but I felt, today is my day and I should take the match to the end. The positive was that we didn’t have much time to think about the next game,” Abhishek pointed out.

Abhishek and Ruturaj Gaikwad stitched a match-winning 137-run stand for the second wicket. They both played freely, with Abhishek crediting clear communication for their success. “I was in a flow, and just wanted to express myself. I spoke to Rutu as well, he said the same thing that ‘don’t think much about the balls and hit what you think you can’,” he said.

Abhishek also revealed a superstitious element to his success – using skipper Shubman Gill’s bat. “Special thanks to Shubman who timely gave me his bat, this was a much-needed innings for me and the team,” he said. “This has been going on from U-14 times. Whenever I play with his bat I have done well, today also, the same happened.”

He added jokingly, “I played with his bat only, which I got after a lot of difficulty, he doesn’t give it easily. That is like my last option when I feel I have to play with his bat for a comeback.”