Sai Sudarshan of Gujarat Titans in action.

Sai Sudarshan of Gujarat Titans in action.
| Photo Credit: Raghunathan SR


At first glance, B. Sai Sudharsan isn’t flashy. He is patient, bats in an uncomplicated fashion and doesn’t attract a lot of attention. Over the last two years though, the incremental gains have accrued to such an extent that he is now impossible to ignore.

On Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the 22-year-old carried Gujarat Titans to victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad with a solid 45 (36b, 4×4, 1×6). In three matches so far, Sai Sudharsan has been GT’s most consistent batter, and was also the top-scorer (45) in the opening win over Mumbai Indians.

To be sure, Sai Sudharsan’s knocks aren’t of the variety that usually make heads turn in the shortest format. But he is a smart reader of the game and is adaptable. In last year’s IPL final against Chennai Super Kings, he hit 96 off 47 balls. Against SRH two days ago, he buckled down on a sticky wicket, took the game deep before delivering the knock-out punch.

This is perhaps indicative of his growing batsmanship. Between the 2023 IPL final and now, Sai Sudharsan has played in the English county championship for Surrey (as an overseas pro despite being uncapped for India), featured for India-A before making his ODI debut last December against South Africa away.

“I feel by playing more games, for India-A and then for the country, has given me some maturity,” he said after Sunday’s win. “Compared to last year, I feel more responsible. And the skills have improved as well. I am getting exposed to difficult conditions, international conditions and I am learning about what I should improve.”

At a time when batters are increasingly picky about formats they play, Sai Sudharsan has been stellar across all three varieties. He is a vital cog in the GT set up, made half-centuries in his first two ODIs and left a lasting impression in red-ball cricket with knocks of 117 and 97 versus the visiting England Lions earlier this year.

“I believe the difference is in risk-taking,” he said. “The decisions I take change for every format according to the match-situation and conditions. Preparation is more often similar, but it is about the amount of risk I can take, and I prepare accordingly.”


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