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Indian Premier League 2023

Who is Vivrant Sharma, the SRH opener who broke a 15-year long record against Mumbai Indians?

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Vivrant Sharma from Jammu & Kashmir scored an impressive 69 from 47 balls for Sunrisers Hyderabad in his debut IPL innings against Mumbai Indians today (May 21) — here’s all you need to know about the left-hander.

Vivrant, 23, playing his maiden IPL season, made his debut against Rajasthan Royals but had to wait two more games before getting an opportunity to bat. Against Mumbai on Sunday, in a game that had little bearing on SRH’s fortunes, he was asked to open the innings alongside Mayank Agarwal as the franchise fielded their seventh opening pair in this year’s competition. He ended on 69, breaking a long-standing 15-year record, scoring the most runs by an Indian during their debut IPL innings. However, his innings was in vain.

Having made his T20 debut in 2021, Vivrant had played only 11 games prior to the match against Mumbai, making 191 runs with a strike rate of 128. Also a handy leg-spinner, who used to have aspirations of becoming a fast bowler, he was unable to leave a mark in his first Syed Mushtaq Ali season in 2021/22, when he ended with only 63 runs in four innings.


Earlier that year, Vivrant had also made his List A debut and impressed straightaway, scoring 66 in 82 deliveries on debut at the top of the order against Saurashtra’s new-ball bowling duo of Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya. It helped his team post 279-9, although his efforts went in vain.

The turnaround in 2022

Vivrant was a net bowler for Sunrisers Hyderabad during the 2022 IPL, sending down leg-spinners to the batters, after state-mate Abdul Samad, who also plays for SRH, recommended his name to the team. However, it was his batting that left the support staff impressed.

That year, Vivrant starred in the SMAT, scoring 128 runs in four innings with a strike rate of 145.45. Two innings, in particular, stood out. In his first game of the season, he smashed a 46-ball 63 after his side collapsed to 31-6, in a run chase of 148. That no other player across the two teams could cross 50 on a tough track is an indication of his ability to adapt to different conditions.

Later in that competition, he was once again the lone man standing for J&K, making a 32-ball 50 against Services, but his efforts were not enough yet again. Vivrant was also the most economical bowler for his team during the SMAT 2022/23, picking up six wickets at an economy rate of 4.80.

He continued his form during the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he ended as the side’s second-highest run-scorer, with 395 runs in eight games. Opening the innings, he started off with successive fifties and then made a mighty 154* against Uttarakhand in 124 balls, which helped his team make the quarter-finals of the tournament for the very first time. He also scored a 62-ball 69 against Madhya Pradesh, as his team chased down 343 runs. Vivrant also picked up five wickets in the event.

That year, Vivrant made his first-class debut and made a fifty besides also notching up two other 40-plus scores.

The early promise helped get him get noticed during the IPL 2023 auction, where he registered himself at a base price of INR 20 lakhs. He was eventually bought by SRH for INR 2.6 crores, more than ten times his base price after getting involved in a bidding war with Kolkata Knight Riders. The bid from KKR was not unexpected after he left their head coach Chandrakant Pandit impressed during last year’s domestic season.

Vivrant is also grateful to Irfan Patel, who was made the coach-cum-mentor of Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the 2018/19 season. “I got a lot of appreciation from him,” said Vivrant. “He said that I had a lot of potential. I spent a very good time with him and got some valuable input from him.”

To bet on the IPL with our Match Centre partners bet365, head here.

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