IPL Auction 2024 | Siddharth finds his way back into the fold

Ready to rock: Shahrukh, Siddharth and Jhathavedh, who played for Kovai Kings in the TNPL, will be keen to make their presence felt in the IPL.
| Photo Credit: File Photos

 It was great relief for Tamil Nadu left-arm spinner M. Siddharth as he finally found his way back into the IPL fold after not being part of the competition for the last two years.

The 25-year-old Siddharth has consistently performed in the TNPL and got his first IPL break in 2020 with Kolkata Knight Riders before joining Delhi Capitals in 2021. However, an injury in 2021 meant he missed the second phase of the tournament held in the UAE. Since then, he got close to the IPL only as a net bowler for Mumbai Indians (2022) and Chennai Super Kings (2023).

On Tuesday, Lucknow Super Giants paid ₹2.4 crore to acquire Siddharth.

“I have been waiting for this for the last two years. There were times when I was very disappointed and frustrated. I was a bit nervous today, but I am thrilled,” Siddharth told The Hindu.

“A lot of credit should go to A.C. Prathiban (former Puducherry and TN player) for the way he helped me during the last few years. He has been there every morning for every practice session. Similarly, Shahrukh Khan, Dinesh Karthik, and my nutritionist Sadhvika Srinivas have also played crucial roles,” added Siddharth.

While he is known to be a handy bowler in the shorter formats with his tight line and pace variation — he has a lethal arm ball — he added another trick up his sleeve in the TNPL with his impressive spells in the PowerPlay for champion Lyca Kovai Kings.

“I worked on it in the last few years with Prathiban. I knew it could create an impact if I did well in PowerPlay. I did not deviate from my strengths but learned how to play with the field positions and find the right line and length to bowl. I am also working on a delivery that comes into the left-hander,” Siddharth said.

Meanwhile, Siddharth’s Kovai Kings skipper M. Shahrukh Khan found a new home in Gujarat Titans after spending the last three years with Punjab Kings.

“A new team, a new challenge, but I am excited to be part of a winning outfit. I have heard from players how comfortable the culture is there and how much they back the players. I am looking forward to doing well for them,” said Shahrukh, who will have the presence of his Tamil Nadu mates in B. Sai Sudarshan, Vijay Shankar and R. Sai Kishore.

The hard-hitting finisher had a decent IPL outing last year, striking at 165.96, but Punjab decided to release him. Though his former team got into a bidding war, Titans prevailed at a lower price than he got two years ago at Punjab.

When asked what was going through his mind before the auction, Shahrukh said: “I did not think a lot. I was expecting a few teams, including Punjab, would show interest in me. I had a good season finishing games for my team last year, and I want to continue in the same vein this year too.”

Apart from Shahrukh and Siddharth, leg-spinner Jhatavedh Subramanyan was the only other Tamil Nadu player to find a team — SRH — on Tuesday. Incidentally, all three played for Kovai Kings in the TNPL.

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