In a high-scoring encounter at Eden Gardens, Sunrisers Hyderabad recorded a comprehensive 23-run win against Kolkata Knight Riders to register their second win in this edition of the Indian Premier League.
After being asked to bat first, Harry Brook scored a scintillating century off 55 deliveries, studded with 12 boundaries and three sixes to power the visiting side to 228 for four in the first innings.
The right-handed batter was well supported by skipper Aiden Markram (50 off 26) and Abhishek Sharma (32 off 17) to give the team some much-needed impetus in the final overs.
In the post-match press conference, Abhishek lauded the English batters' sublime knock and said, "We all believed that he could do this. We played together at the U-19 level when we had a series against England, and he was the captain of them, and I was leading India."
"We all knew inside that he's going to do something like this. It was just a matter of time, and that's what he did today. If you see his innings in Tests, it's almost the same as T20. He always keeps telling everyone that he just reacts to the ball and plays his natural game, whatever the situation is," he said.
As the southpaw missed the last could of games due to injury, the team management opted to use Brook as an opener, and while the move did not pay rich dividends, he repaid the faith of the management in this must-win clash.
Explaining the decision to continue with Brook and pushing himself down the order, Abhishek said, "We all know that Brook can take down any pace attack, and that was the plan. I was injured in between, and we backed Brook to open."
"I think that was a very good decision by the coach and management. We all know how he plays fast bowling, and with the new ball, mostly fast bowlers would be in action. He can also take on spinners as well, so it worked well for us," he further added.
The 22-year-old credited the team management for their strategies and stated the need for flexibility from his end, which has helped the Orange Army look like a far more settled unit.
"When I was practicing after getting back from injury, I knew that I have to be a bit flexible. Harry couldn't perform in the first 2-3 matches. Somehow, it was Brian's mind that we would push him (Brook) to the top of the order as he thought that I could take on the spinners. KKR have one of the best spinners, and it is a strategic decision, not a permanent one." Abhishek said.
The youngster also credited the mindset of Brook despite some failures in the first three matches and said, "When Harry Brook entered the IPL, we all knew what he could achieve and his records at the international level. He is a clean-hitter of the ball and is clear about this mindset as well, which is very important for any player."
"Even when he did not perform in the first three matches, he was the same with everyone, and this is the best thing about him. He is on the same line whether he is performing or not, which is good to see," he concluded.
Sunrisers Hyderabad now travel home to take on the Mumbai Indians in an evening encounter on Tuesday, April 18, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.