Normally bowling all-rounders are picked in a team or in an auction because of theirs being a bowler predominantly while the team/franchise also expects some handy lower-order runs from them.
KKR‘s Shardul and Cummins, though, in the IPL 2023 season and IPL 2022 season respectively, have turned an IPL game around on the might of their batting prowess. Coincidentally both of their blistering IPL fifties came on the same date: April 6.
On April 6th, 2023, Shardul Thakur slammed a memorable, entertaining half-century against RCB in front of a packed crowd at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. In only 29 balls of rampage from Thakur, he clattered 68 runs. Thakur didn’t slog much, as most bowlers would do, but he was smart in picking his gaps as he stroked 9 fours along with 3 fantastic sixes in his highly-mercurial knock that propelled KKR from 89/5 to a total over 200 in partnership with Rinku Singh.
On April 6th in consecutive years, Thakur and Cummins smashed memorable fifties for KKR
Exactly a year, in Pune, it was Pat Cummins, the Australian speedster batting for Kolkata Knight Riders, who blew away the Mumbai Indians bowlers with the joint-fastest IPL half-century, in just 14 balls, to seal the chase of 162 with four overs to spare.
Batting at number 7, Cummins came at the score of 101/5 after the wicket of Andre Russell – similar to Shardul Thakur who also came in at number 7 with Russell just dismissed.
Starting with a six on the second ball he face, Cummins blasted 6 sixes and 4 fours to rumble to a 14-ball half-century, which is the joint-fastest in the IPL history, sharing the record with opener KL Rahul. Cummins finished with 56* off just 15 balls!
Expectedly, both Shardul Thakur and Pat Cummins were named Man of the Match in their respective limelight games for Knight Riders.
Hence, April 6th is now a really special day for Kolkata Knight Riders and its bowlers as it saw two of the most famous innings by Kolkata Knight Riders batters (a bowler turned into a batting force) on this particular day for two consecutive years.
Kolkata Knight Riders would be hoping they get a game every season on April 6, and fans would be waiting in anticipation on who would be the next surprise package of a bowler who’d smash a blistering knock.