Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) cricketer Abdul Samad opened up on his Indian Premier League debut on Tuesday night and the six he hit off Anrich Nortje in a candid chat with his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate Rashid Khan.
18-year-old Abdul Samad remained unbeaten on 12 off 7 balls in SRH’s total of 162 for 4 against Delhi Capitals. Samad had a reputation of being a big-hitter even before he got to play his first game and showed glimpses of that during his brief knock in which he his a four and a huge six to finish with a strike rate of over 171.
Talking about his debut knock, Samad said he was given the freedom to play his natural game by the SRH team management.
“Felt really well playing here in my first game. I hit a huge six which gave me a lot of confidence. People back home have a lot of expectations from me and hope I’ll do good in the future games,” Samad, who is the 3rd player from J&K to feature in the IPL, told Rashid Khan after the match.
Samad also shed light on what was going on in his mind when he came out to bat against the famed DC bowling lineup consisting of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Marcus Stoinis in the death overs.
“Team management told me beforehand to play my natural game. They told me to go free and just hit them. I started swinging from the first ball I faced. I missed 3-4 times but when I hit that six (off Nortje) I got a lot of confidence. I hope I can hit more sixes in the upcoming matches.
“I did not feel much pressure playing my first IPL game. There is not much difference between domestic cricket and IPL because mostly the same players feature in both. The pressure and intensity is a bit higher in IPL. We did not have any crowd but even then I didn’t feel much pressure,” Samad said.
On a lighter note, Rashid asked Samad about the secret behind his power-hitting and what kind of a diet he followed to stay fit and strong. “Normal Maa ke haath ka khana (mother’s home-cooked food),” the teenager replied.
Rashid Khan starred in SRH’s 1st win of IPL 2020 with 3 for 21 as they restricted DC to 147 for 7 to win by 15 runs. They will next face Chennai Super Kings on October 2 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.