“It always helps to practice with the mindset” – Shimron Hetmyer said ‘programs mind’ to tackle tough chases

Shimron Hetmyer shone for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their three-wicket victory against defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) in IPL 2023. The match took place at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, April 16.

Chasing 178, the left-hander remained unbeaten on 56 off 26 balls to take RR home with four balls to spare. His innings comprised five sixes and two boundaries. Hetmyer also shared crucial fifty partnerships with skipper Sanju Samson (60 off 32) and Dhruv Jurel (18 off 10) to recover RR from 55/4 and lead RR’s fightback.

The 26-year-old has been consistent with the bat in IPL 2023. He has scored 183 runs in five games at a strike rate of 184.84. For the uninitiated, he has only been dismissed once (versus Punjab Kings) in five outings this season. RR retained Hetmyer for INR 8.5 crore after he scored 314 runs in 15 games at a strike rate of 153.92 during the IPL 2022 campaign.

After the game, which, with some help from his captain Sanju Samson, he won for Royals with four balls to spare, Hetmyer explained.

“I just practice it really. It always helps to practice with the mindset that you’re a couple of wickets down and you have to get say 100 runs probably in eight overs. You just try to program your mind that way, and so far it’s working.”

“I was actually pretty happy, to be honest, to be facing [a spinner in the final over],” Hetmyer said. “But I think he had bowled pretty well tonight. So I was just thinking, if I can just get a double off the first ball and then just see what happens after that.”

What happened was Hetmyer received a short one from Ahmad, and duly pulled it into the stands to seal an improbable chase with time to spare. And this was a win that Hetmyer “really wanted”. “Just really wanted to win against these guys because they beat us three times [in the league phase, in the qualifier, and in the final] last year,” he said. “So it was a kind of revenge really.”

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