Pacer Mohit Sharma completed a full circle in Indian Premier League when he finished as the best bowler in Gujarat Titans lineup vs Punjab Kings at Mohali. In his first IPL match since 2020, Mohit picked up 2 for 18 from his four overs to help GT restrict Punjab to 153 for 8. Not many know that Mohit was Titans’ net bowler last year after facing snub in IPL 2022 Mega Auction. Before this Punjab game, Mohit’s last spell was for Delhi Capitals in 2020 wherein he gave away 45 runs in 4 overs. It may have been the last time Mohit ever played in IPL. But his persistence, hard work and some support kept him going.
Mohit was not considered quality enough to feature in any team in IPL 2021 and 2022 after poor previous seasons. GT head coach Ashish Nehra asked him to continue playing in the domestic cricket. Last year, he asked Mohit to become a part of GT as net bowler so that whenever a slot opened in future, he could raise his hand up. In IPL 2023 mini auction, he put his name up in the auction again and GT bid to eventually buy him at his base price of Rs 50 lakh. In 2016, Mohit had fetched Rs 6.5 crore. Mohit has really seen the highest and lowest points in IPL.
Mohit Sharma – Purple cap holder; World Cup semi-finalists
Mohit was the Purple Cap holder in IPL 2014 with 23 wickets from 16 games when he was playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). His long stay with CSK and the good performances over there fetched him the India cap too. Mohit went on to play 26 ODIs and 8 T20Is for India, picking up 37 international wickets. He even got picked for India ODI squad for World Cup in 2015.
How GT revived Mohit Sharma’s career
Mohit Sharma was not the favorite among the franchises after poor show in IPL 2020. He then underwent a back surgery last year. But on advice of Nehra, he did not stop playing domestic cricket and even joined GT as their net bowler. For an India pacer to shun his ego and become a net bowler would have required a lot of courage. Mohit felt it was better to be playing than sitting at home and hence, he took up the role of a net bowler.
Speaking on his comeback, Mohit said that he was equally nervous and excited before he bowled his first ball in IPL in three years and is happy to have done well for a team which has helped him revive his T20 career. He mentioned Nehra’s name while speaking on his comeback. Mohit said his Ashu bhai played a big role in making his comeback possible.
“Last year I played domestic returning from a back surgery. Not many people knew I played domestic. Got a call from Ashu pa to stay with the team. I thought it would be better than staying at home (about being a net bowler for GT last year). Being a net bowler is not a bad thing. Gives you a lot of exposure. The environment at GT is brilliant,” said Mohit after his brilliant spell vs Punjab on Thursday night.