Tamil Nadu has not held back when it comes to producing quality cricketers for India.
Shahrukh Khan is the latest entry on this list who is all set to announce himself to the biggest T20 league in the world – the IPL.
The batting all-rounder will feature for Punjab Kings in this year’s tournament where he will have to keep up with his staggering price tag.
The 25-year-old was bought for INR 5.25 crore by the Kings who are hoping he will replicate his performances in the domestic circuit.
The batting prodigy averages just over 18 in T20s, but it’s his List A average (44) that has drawn attention.
His awesome strike rate of 131 in domestic T20 tournaments speaks volumes of his batting capabilities as well.
The Tamil Nadu finisher rose to fame after leading his side to title victory in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this year with his power-hitting.
His captain Dinesh Karthik helped him hone his batting skills and made him a real game-changer.
Shahrukh Khan’s journey to the top
Like many Indian cricketers who grew up in the Chennai circle, Khan first got into the Under-16 Tamil Nadu team in 2012.
Gradually, he then worked his way up, scoring lots of runs in the process.
With plenty of runs under his belt and a 6’4 figure that can’t go unnoticed, Khan became a household name in the region.
But the hulk-like Shahrukh Khan that we see right now isn’t how he always was.
Throughout his teens, he was a lanky fellow and struggled to gain muscle.
But he then transformed himself into the man he is today.
It was early 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic when Khan focused on changing his physique.
With gyms shut to avoid an outbreak of the novel virus, Khan resorted to home workouts for months and sprinted in streets to increase his stamina.
In a recent interview, Khan revealed that he also worked on his strength during the lockdown. He did not want to be at the mercy of the opposition’s bowlers.
Hence, he worked on hitting big shots on lengths that are difficult to get your bat at. Khan said he worked on connecting big shots to wide yorkers and short balls as well.
He aimed at becoming a player that has shots for every kind of ball, and a year later, he reached his goal.
“I can see the difference when I hit the ball,” Khan remarked. He said that packing on muscles and working on the bat downswing was extremely crucial in taking his batting to the next level.
How can Punjab Kings benefit from Khan?
Punjab Kings finished in sixth spot in the 2020 IPL and are looking to amend their errors as they prepare for the coming season.
With the likes of captain KL Rahul and Chris Gayle at the top of the order, the Kings have a fearsome batting line, but their middle-order might need some tweaks.
This is where Shahrukh Khan can make hay while the sun shines.
The Kings had relied on Glenn Maxwell for the big hits and the Australia all-rounder had mostly disappointed. However, Khan can fill his boots with some clean hitting in the death overs and provide his side the late 20-30 runs they have missed on previous outings.
His inclusion in the Kings squad also releases the pressure of Nicholas Pooran who was being considered as the only big hitter after Gayle.
Khan brings depth to the franchise’s batting and KL Rahul would be keen to have another explosive batsman in his team.