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IPL 2022: Sunrisers Hyderabad Invested a Lot in me, Just Want to Give my All for Them - Nicholas Pooran

West Indies wicketkeeper batter Nicholas Pooran (AP Image)

West Indies wicketkeeper batter Nicholas Pooran (AP Image)

The 26-year-old had a disappointing IPL 2021, where he averaged just 7.75 with the bat for Punjab Kings.

West Indies batter Nicholas Pooran has said that one bad IPL season is not going to change the player in him and he is now keen to give his 100 percent for his franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the upcoming 2022 season of the cash-rich league.

The 26-year-old had a disappointing IPL 2021, where he averaged just 7.75 with the bat for Punjab Kings. However, SRH still showed faith in the attacking batter and bought him for Rs 10.75 crore in the mega auction.

“…Just because I had one bad season, it’s not going to change the player I am. I am doing pretty well in international cricket and everyone sees that. For me it’s about giving back to my team — the Sunrisers have invested a lot in me and so I just want to give my all for them — to me, it’s about being the best version of myself,” Pooran was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Pooran also mentioned that he has learned a lot from the last IPL season and is a better player now.

“Things like this happen; everyone goes through patches in their career. First game last year, I got a first-ball duck, then the next game, I got a second-ball duck. Eventually, I went out to bat and didn’t even face a ball, got run out (laughs). I’m not dwelling on it too much, I believe I am a much better player now, and I learned a lot from that IPL season,” he said.

The left-hander was the most expensive West Indian player at this year’s IPL auction.

When asked about the pressure of the big price, he admitted it, adding that as a professional cricketer it’s their job to perform for the team under any circumstances.

“As a professional player, sometimes I guess it does, especially when you’re not doing well, the media targets you, a lot of fans criticise you, so it [the fee] definitely does play a part. But as a professional it’s your job to put that noise behind you and just try to perform for the team,” he added.

The wicket-keeper batter believes that every player has technical flaws, but for him, it’s more about the mental thinking and clarity in his game.

“Every player has technical flaws, but to me it’s more mental, having that clarity in my game. Once I can get into that clear space, I think I’ll be all right. As you can see in my last few T20 games, the last three international series, I’ve started to get into that mindset, knowing exactly what I want to do. So hopefully it continues and people can stop saying I need to keep proving myself,” he opined.

Pooran is also looking forward to working with fellow Trinidadian Brian Lara, who is the batting coach of the SRH.

“Yeah, we have had a couple of conversations in the recent past. He’s simply superb, amazing when it comes to batting and how he views the game. So yeah, looking forward to that opportunity to work with him,” he said.

The Kane Williamson-led Sunrisers Hyderabad will open their IPL 2022 campaign against Rajasthan Royals on March 29 at the MCA Stadium in Pune.

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first published:March 18, 2022, 19:20 IST