Romario Shepherd hopes he can fetch an IPL contract after showcasing finishing ability

IPL mega-auction is coming up. Less than a month away. With many of the seam-bowling allrounders available in the auction longlist – Sam Curran, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes all opted out, while Chris Morris recently announced his retirement – Romario Shepherd’s fireworks on Sunday night have immensely boosted his chances of bagging his first IPL contract.

Shepherd scored 44 not out from 28 balls from No. 7 to take West Indies within one run of England’s total, adding 72 off 29 in an unbeaten ninth-wicket partnership with Akeal Hosein to add a sense of unbelievable comeback to what had looked like a cruise to victory. Thirty of his runs came in sixes, including two over the longer leg-side boundary off Chris Jordan and one off Liam Dawson that cleared the Garfield Sobers Pavilion. A strong testimony to his big-hitting ability.

Shepherd admits it’s his dream to play in the IPL
“I try to focus on what is at hand right now and try and put my all in here,” Shepherd, who has entered February’s auction with an Rs. 75 lakh ($100,000 USD approx.) base price, said. “Eventually, if an IPL contract comes, that would be great for me. I’m not saying that I don’t think about it – I do think about it, but I try not to think about it during a game, I just focus on wherever the game is and trying to get ourselves out of a situation.
 
“It’s a great platform. For any youngster, it’s their dream to go to the IPL and I’m no different. I’m trying my best to get myself in there, but at the same time trying to win a series here. It’s something that I’ve dreamed about for a very long time. My name was in the [auction] for the last three years, so this year, I’m looking forward to it.”
Shepherd reveals his game strategy during that epic innings
In what might always be one of his memorable innings, Shepherd had struggled early on, scoring only one single from his first seven balls and failing to pick Adil Rashid out of the hand, but immediately targeted Dawson when he came on to bowl the 13th over. He was one of only a handful of batters to clear the longer boundary – around 90 metres towards midwicket – and his clean hitting sure broke the sweat of the England camp.
 
“When I went out, the coach told me to take a few balls,” he explained. “Then when I got out there the ball was spinning and Rashid got me. I was like one off six balls, one off seven balls, so I was kind of on the back foot.
 
“When I saw Liam come on for his first over, I said to myself I would try and take him down. I hit him for two sixes in that over so that gave me a push-start there. Eventually I started flowing better at the crease.
 
“It plays with your mind to see that one side is very short and one side is very long. Eventually when Jordan came in that over, I had no choice but to try and take on the long boundary. I know as long as I hit them well, the boundary don’t matter.”

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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