IPL 2024: It did not look like Shubman was leading for the first time, says Sai Kishore

Gujarat Titans spinner R. Sai Kishore praised head coach Ashish Nehra for setting up a thriving team culture and said new skipper Shubman Gill did not look like he was leading the side for the first time.

Left-arm spinner Sai Kishore starred with a brilliant four-over spell in GT’s six-run win over Mumbai Indians in their IPL opener here on Sunday.

“Shubman led the team very well. It did not look like he was leading for the first time. Even to me as a spinner, the inputs that he gave were fantastic,” Kishore said in the post-match press conference.

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Batting first, GT settled for 168/6 and then stopped MI at 162 after the five-time champions looked on course for victory.

“We felt we were 10 short, but the thing about this whole team and how it has been run over the last two years is we give a lot of emphasis to competing. Whether we win or lose, we’re proud of the way we play. We competed really well. That was the talk given by (head coach) Ashish Nehra as well.

“All credit to the culture he has set up over the last two years. People are not thinking about the result (alone), they’re focusing about competing and staying in the game.” Sai Kishore also said he was quite comfortable with the batters playing out Rashid Khan and coming after him. He mixed his pace and bowled slower through the air.

“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.

“That resulted in getting a lot of wickets. It was attacking bowling, even if the situation was otherwise. In the other teams where I play, I usually do the lead role. Doing the second role makes it even more exciting. Most people are going to play off Rashid and come after me. That makes the challenge more exciting,” Sai Kishore said.

With the dew setting in, Sai Kishore expected it to play a major role and influence the result.

“I was actually expecting dew to play a major role. The ball was wet, but for some strange reason, the ball was still holding on the wicket. Usually it slides on, but I was surprised by the amount of purchase I was getting.”

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