India vs Zimbabwe: Abhishek Sharma’s secret? A borrowed bat | Cricket News – Times of India

Abhishek Sharma announced his arrival on the international stage with a sizzling century in the second T20I of his career against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday, and he did it with a borrowed bat.
After scoring 100 off 47 balls, which powered India to a mammoth 234 for 2 and eventually helped the visitors win by 100 runs to level the five-match series at 1-1, the 23-year-old Abhishek revealed that he did with skipper Shubman Gill‘s bat.”Today I played with Shubman Gill’s bat…whenever I think there is a pressure game or this is a match where I should perform, I usually take his bat,” said the batting sensation, who, like Gill, hails from Punjab and is also mentored by India great Yuvraj Singh.
Coming out to open, Abhishek smashed 8 sixes and 7 fours in his innings that came at a strike rate of 212.77, before being dismissed by left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza.
Ruturaj Gaikwad contributed an equally blistering 77 not out off 47 balls, followed by Rinku Singh who smashed an unbeaten 48 off 22 balls.

Pacers Avesh Khan and Mukesh Kumar then took three wickets each to complete India’s big win.
Abhishek and Gill have been playing together since their under-12 days.
“It has been quite beautiful, starting as kids of 11-12 years…When I was selected for the country, the first call I received was from Shubman,” said Abhishek in the post-match press conference.
Abhishek said it’s not the first time he borrowed Gill’s bat.
“It happened from the under-12 days, as whenever I play a pressure game I ask him for a bat. It had happened in the IPL as well. Today was no exception as it went well as it usually happens,” said Abhishek, who played IPL 2024 for Sunrisers Hyderabad and knocked on BCCI selectors’ doors with his big-hitting prowess.

The left-handed opener credited his father and Yuvraj for his success and ability to play fearlessly.
“Yuvi paaji has made a big contribution. I don’t consider myself as sixer-king or something like that. Special thanks to my dad for allowing me to play lofted shots. Generally, coaches don’t allow a young batter to hit lofted shots. But my dad always said if you wanted to play a lofted shot, then it should go out of the ground. So I wanted to follow that,” he added.
India lost the first match of the series, where Abhishek made his debut and got out for a duck. However, he said he didn’t feel any pressure.
“I think the IPL plays a big role in this (handling pressure). We did not feel much pressure when we came here to represent the country as debutants. Unfortunately, we didn’t start well in the first match. But my mindset and approach were pretty much similar – to show the right intent,” he explained.
“Of course, my execution was better today (in the 2nd T20I) than yesterday. I was just calculating the risk that I should take in the first over, or whether to play according to the merit of the ball. Whenever I get boundaries or sixes in the first few balls, then I believe that it’s my day,” he concluded.

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