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A late night call and a missed flight: This is how Ashutosh Sharma and Punjab Kings were destined for glory

A late night call and a missed flight: This is how Ashutosh Sharma and Punjab Kings were destined for glory

Ashutosh also recalled how a statement from coach Sanjay Bangar gave him confidence and helped him in his cricketing career.

Punjab Kings on Thursday chased down the total of 199 to notch up their second victory of the IPL 2024 against Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Riding on Player of the Match Shashank Singh’s unbeaten 61, and Ashutosh Sharma’s quickfire 31 off 17 balls, PBKS achieved the target with a ball to spare. After the match, heroes of the match Shashank and Ashutosh caught up for a chat.

PBKS sent GT to bat first after winning the toss. Shubman Gill played a vital knock of 89 to provide a target of 200 runs to PBKS. PBKS was in a spot of bother with 24 runs needed of 2 overs. However, Sharma and Singh ensured they reached the target without any major hiccups. After the match, Ashutosh revealed Bangar had given him the confidence to excel at the highest level.

Bangar sir gave me confidence: Ashutosh

My trials for Punjab Kings was good. I was about to go home, I had a late flight and had another trial for a different team scheduled. But then I got a call from PBKS and they asked me to stay back for one more day. I saw their request as a positive one. I stayed back and didn’t go to the trial of the other team,” Ashutosh said on a video released by IPL.

It felt good. The camp had given me ample confidence. Shikhar Dhawan and Sanjay Bangar backed me quite a lot. Everyone used to call me ‘slogger’ but Bangar called me one day and said ‘you are not a slogger, you play some amazing cricketing shots. Believe in that.’ That statement helped me quite a lot, and not only in IPL but in Ranji Trophy too. That statement became a big part of my life. I wasn’t tensed at all. I knew exactly what to do when I went to bat. Was confident and backed myself,” he added.

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Wanted to stay until the end: Shashank

Reminiscing on his innings, Player of the Match Shashank Singh said he had faith in his abilities and backed himself to win the game for his team.

When Sanjay sir told me I’d go in at number 5, I saw it as an opportunity where I’d get more balls. The wicket was good and I wanted to win the match for our team. As professional athletes, we visualise that we’re winning matches for our team. I had the belief that I’d win the match,” Shashank said.

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