Leg-spinner Karn Sharma has been part of the team that clinched the IPL trophy in the last three editions. He was part of the victorious Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise in 2016, part of Mumbai Indians in 2017, and now Chennai Super Kings in 2018.
Sharma’s 'new team' circumstance is not only restrained to IPL. Prior to the start of 2017-18 domestic season, he had made a switch from Railways to Vidarbha and immediately tasted Ranji success with his new domestic team. Considering his hat-trick of IPL titles and Ranji triumph, Karn is now considered as the lucky charm for the team he plays for.
In his recent interview with Sportstar, the 30-year-old leggie opened up on the importance of remaining a winner and his experience with the Super Kings in IPL 2018.
“It was mad. We are happy that we won it for the fans and support staff. There were criticisms regarding the team combination after the auctions. This was a different feeling compared to the last two times. I haven’t seen such a fan following in any other team in the IPL. You could only see yellow in the stands,” Karn Sharma quoted.
Karn played only 6 games for CSK in the recently concluded IPL. After being benched for many games in between, he was picked for the all-important final against Sunrisers Hyderabad wherein he claimed the prize scalp of Kane Williamson.
“I got to know in the morning that I was playing the final. IPL is one tournament where you can get a chance any moment, due to injuries to others or change in team combinations. So I was preparing accordingly. I was bowling at the nets everyday and I was up for it,” he added.
When asked if his economical spell in the final of IPL 2017 helped him to get picked in the final this year, Karn said: “That could be a reason. I know I was doing well and I had to sit out as our plans changed once we moved to Pune. I was selected keeping Chepauk in mind, which assists spinners. But our new home ground was pace-friendly. But I had a feeling I may play the final. When you have already played a final, you have an idea how to go about things and read the scenario better. I didn’t have pressure as I knew how it works.”
Talking about Williamson’s wicket in the final, he said: “I had the intuition that he would step out. Kane always took chances on the first ball of the over, whether it was a spinner or a pacer. We had gone for 30 odd runs in the last two overs and I knew he would charge down. While he stepped out, I got a fraction of a second to pitch the ball wide and get him stumped. If he had been at the crease, SRH could have scored more runs.”
Karn, who was roped in by CSK for INR 5 crores during the IPL auction in January 2018, also compared the team culture of Super Kings with his previous franchises.
“Every franchise follows different rules and regulations, but playing a final is a big thing irrespective of the team you play for. Having three titles is a huge thing for me. When I was with SRH and MI, both the franchises were in top two leading up to the play-offs. It was the same with CSK this season, so I couldn’t find any major difference. When you are doing well throughout the season, the approach doesn’t really change. But individuals have different plans and if they stick to their plans, the team wins,” he remarked.
Karn Sharma concluded by talking about his plans for the near future.
“I will start my preparations for the next domestic season. I believe winning and doing well is the best motivation. But if you have to continue winning, you have to train harder and be at it continuously,” he signed-off.