posted on 2019-05-05 12:34:30
posted by Karthik Raj
Shimron Hetmyer's biggest test was the IPL. Like any talented youngster would have, there was an air of hype surrounding his burgeoning potential. The price tag of 4.2 crores would have also been playing in his mind. And when it just seemed like he wouldn't fulfill his potential in the IPL, Shimron Hetmyer rose up like any class player would do to prove his worth and his doubters wrong as his fantastic counter-attacking knock helped RCB finish the IPL season off with a win against SRH at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers- RCB's top 3 players and the ones who have been consistent for the team were all nipped out early by the new ball duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed. With those 3 gone, it seemed like the match was done and dusted for RCB. After all, the players after them were Shimron Hetmyer who returned to the team after sitting on the bench for 9 games, Gurkeerat Mann who was just playing his 3rd game of the season and Colin De Grandhomme who also came back into the team for this game. As a result, there was naturally a lot of doubt as to whether RCB can get to a respectable total and lose by a small margin. Shimron Hetmyer's ability wasn't forgotten but still, there were question marks over his temperament and ability to compose and build an inning. Suddenly his eye-catching performances and unbelievable shot making against India which led to his IPL selection didn't seem as prominent as it was before the tournament. After all, earlier on in the season, Hetmyer failed in the first 4 matches and was subsequently dropped. Some of those dismissals involved careless shots.
But those were the same kind of shots which has given him the big name in world cricket now. So it couldn't be mistaken now since he was failing. But such is the result-oriented nature of the competition that RCB couldn't carry on with Hetmyer and started to look at other options. While a proper replacement wasn't found, RCB's first-half performances meant that it was next to impossible for them to qualify for the playoffs. As a result, RCB started to give chances to players who haven't got chances till now. But Hetmyer's return to the team didn't seem like coming. He was being forgotten. His place in the side for the next season was being doubted. And it was time for RCB's final game of the season. A chance to end the season on a good note in front of the loyal Bangalore fans. But as Virat Kohli announced during the toss that Shimron Hetmyer is back into the team, this match also turned out to be one final chance for Hetmyer to finish the season on a good note and also produce a first innings of note for RCB. Under pressure, when not many people gave a chance, Shimron Hetmyer combined with Gurkeerat Mann to produce a scintillating performance against SRH.
An important thing to note was the comeback of his confident self. Even though it didn't seem like he was picking Rashid Khan's variations initially, Hetmyer launched an unbelievable assault against the world famous leggie from Afghanistan. In spite of losing his wicket during the final stages of the chase, Hetmyer had already made a telling impact on the game by scoring 32 runs off just 15 balls against Rashid Khan. Hetmyer was severe on anything that was in his arc and peppered the midwicket region incessantly. RCB then had a mini-collapse but eventually, Umesh Yadav's two boundaries sealed the match and brought joy for RCB.
While this season was over long back for RCB, these last few games gave the team to not only regain some confidence but also prepare and build for the next season. This is where Hetmyer's performances might become a huge plus not only for him but also for the team. Considering his age, RCB could even organize their batting order around Hetmyer. While RCB might regret the fact that Hetmyer couldn't fire right from the beginning, this performance might seem to be a blessing in disguise. In hindsight, RCB might also accept the fact that they could and should have given more opportunities to Hetmyer considering his undoubted talent. That bit of backing could have done a world of good to him and RCB's fortunes might even have been better. But all said and done, both Hetmyer's and RCB's fortunes for the next season and beyond look good if this stunning performance against SRH was a glimpse as to what will be delivered in the future. While it's still very early, Shimron Hetmyer could become an all-time IPL great. We could be in for some very special performances from this talented youngster from the Caribbean.