Naman Dhir Emerges as Mumbai’s New No. 3: Sai Kishore’s Impact in Titans’ Victory

In Mumbai Indians’ recent match against Gujarat Titans, Naman Dhir stepped in as the No. 3 batsman after Ishan Kishan’s early dismissal in the chase of 169 runs.

This shift highlighted Mumbai Indians’ knack for discovering talented T20 players, with Dhir being the latest addition to their lineup.

Naman Dhir Emerges as Mumbai’s New No. 3: Sai Kishore’s Impact in Titans’ Victory

At just 24 years old, Dhir hails from Punjab and is known for his aggressive batting style, particularly for hitting powerful sixes down the ground. Despite having only played a handful of T20 matches, with his debut in November, Dhir caught Mumbai Indians’ attention at the last auction where he was acquired for INR 20 lakh. His previous T20 outings saw him scoring 39 runs in four innings, showcasing glimpses of his potential as a hard-hitting batter.

Having primarily batted at No. 3 for Punjab, Dhir’s performance in domestic cricket includes two centuries in the Ranji Trophy from 20 innings, indicating his ability to anchor an innings effectively. Moreover, his impressive showing in the Sher-e-Punjab T20 Cup last year, where he smashed 466 runs at a strike rate of 192.56, further solidified his reputation as a promising talent.

During his IPL debut, Dhir exhibited his aggressive approach by hitting three consecutive fours and a six against Azmatullah Omarzai of Gujarat Titans. His fearless batting style earned praise from Kieron Pollard, Mumbai’s batting coach, who commended Dhir’s expressiveness and intent at the crease.

Despite Mumbai Indians falling short in the match, Dhir’s brief yet impactful innings of 20 runs off 10 balls showcased his potential to make significant contributions to the team’s batting lineup. As Mumbai continues to nurture emerging talents like Dhir, their scouting efforts and commitment to unearthing new talent within India remain commendable.

Sai Kishore’s Impact in Gujarat Titans’ Victory

Sai Kishore, the left-arm spinner for Titans, played a crucial role in their recent victory. Despite feeling they fell short by about ten runs, his performance showcased competitive spirit and strategic adaptability.

The possibility of hitters playing Rashid Khan and going after him excites the left-arm spinner about his role in the Titans attack. For a spinner, moisture can be their worst nightmare. And the difficulties increase when the opposition is cruising at 107 for 2, requiring 62 off 48.

Until now, R Sai Kishore had bowled three overs without a wicket for 19 runs. With Rohit Sharma at 43, the Gujarat Titans would have been almost eliminated in a few more overs from him. This is when Sai Kishore really started to shine.

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Naman Dhir Emerges as Mumbai’s New No. 3: Sai Kishore’s Impact in Titans’ Victory

Later on, he stated, “I was actually expecting dew to play a major role.” “Despite being wet, the ball was holding on to the wicket for an odd reason. Normally it goes on well, but I was taken aback by how much I was getting. I therefore made an effort to enter the wicket, vary my tempo, and go more slowly through the air.”

Because of issues with team composition, Sai Kishore did not play for the Titans during the entire previous season. Even his five previous appearances in 2022 had been spaced out. To keep Titans alive, he had to summon something extraordinary, which he accomplished by just slightly extending his body backward and causing the ball to dip.

As Rohit attempted a sweep, he stumbled and became stuck in front. The game had returned to balance thanks to Sai Kishore. Mumbai’s collapse was largely due to his 1 for 24 stats, especially in the second half of their chase when the Titans changed their lengths and bowled into the pitch to stop the hitters.

“Because the wicket was two-paced, we tried to go into the wicket a lot more, trust our length a lot more than directly going for yorkers,” Sai Kishore stated. “I got a lot of wickets as a result of that. It was offensive bowling even though the circumstances were different.”

Sai Kishore has had to get used to being Rashid Khan’s backup spinner at Titans. He is used as a trump card in the Powerplay for Tamil Nadu in the TNPL. Although this shift in responsibilities can be difficult, it provided the opportunity he had been waiting for.

“I typically play the lead role on the other teams I play on. It’s even more thrilling to play the second part, according to Sai Kishore. “The majority of individuals will pursue me after brushing aside Rashid. That heightens the excitement of the challenge.

“That coordination [with Rashid] is there; we have excellent game discussions. The fact that everyone on this squad gets along well is one of its advantages. As a reserve player, Jayant [Yadav, the offspinner] would also enter the game and instruct the other players, “Do this, do that, it’s going good.” The communication is excellent because it is constant.”

Sai Kishore said that the Titans’ bat performance fell at least ten runs short of their expectations. The whole idea was to stay in the game as long as possible and then take advantage of opportunities, as they did in the last overs when Mohit Sharma and Rashid built on Sai Kishore’s efforts.

Naman Dhir Emerges as Mumbai’s New No. 3: Sai Kishore’s Impact in Titans’ Victory

“We thought we were 10 short, but the thing about this team as a whole and the way it has been managed over the past two years is that we place a high value on winning. We take pride in the way we play, win or lose. We performed quite well in the competition. That was also Ashish Nehra, the head coach, talking about.

“It is all due to the culture that he has established in the past two years. People are concentrating on competing and continuing in the game rather than just the outcome.”

After finishing as the highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy, Sai Kishore had an incredible season. As a captain, he also made a lasting impression by supporting young players who flourished due to clear roles.

Sai Kishore is excited to play for the Titans and is ready to take on challenging roles without worrying about the repercussions. “Bowling four overs in a row is similar to playing a single-day game; it makes rhythm much easier.”

“Six bowlers are being played due to the Impact Player regulation. I’m going to be the guy that bowls four straight overs in the middle of the field. I’m willing to bowl single-over stints. I use my overs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy or TNPL in that manner, but because of the caliber of our bowlers, I get to bowl four overs, which I find enjoyable.”

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