Shashank Singh Player Profile: IPL's New Batting Star

Shashank Singh was picked up by Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in 2017 and then by Rajasthan Royals (2019-21) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (2022) before Punjab Kings bought him

 (AP Photo/STR)
Punjab Kings' Shashank Singh plays a shot during the Indian Premier League cricket match between Gujarat Titans and Punjab Kings in Ahmedabad, India, Thursday, April 4, 2024. (AP Photo/STR)

Shashank Singh's journey encapsulates a classic narrative of self-discovery, starting with unwavering confidence but profound self doubt creeping in later on before ultimately reclaiming the belief in himself. (More Cricket News)

On Thursday against Gujarat Titans, Shashank played the knock of his life, remaining unbeaten on 61 off 29 balls during which he hit six boundaries and four sixes to guide Punjab Kings to victory.

When Shashank began playing cricket for Madhya Pradesh, he exuded confidence but was handed a reality check when he found himself competing with the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav.

"When I played for Madhya Pradesh, I used to think I was the best in the world," said the 32-year-old Sashank, who pulled off an improbable run-chase to take Punjab Kings to victory against Gujarat Titans in the IPL on Thursday.

However, a pivotal moment in his life happened when he joined a Mumbai Indians side full off superstars like Iyer, Suryakumar, Prithvi Shaw and Sarfaraz Khan.

"After that I moved to Mumbai. I was there in white ball circuit, in all tournaments, great 4-5 years but in red ball I wasn't able to get in the team because of the competition.

"Shreyas was scoring, Suryakumar was scoring, Shivam Dube was there, Abhishek Nayar was there, Siddhesh Lad was scoring. At the end of the day, only 11 people can play."

While he found a place in the white-ball circuit,0 it was red-ball cricket that he yearned to play.

"I was scoring in club cricket but couldn't get in the red ball because people were doing well. It was tough to get in and at some point you have to realise practically you want to see yourself as a first call player as well.

"When I was in MP, I always thought that I was the best and there was no competition because at that time MP cricket wasn't that strong. When I moved to Mumbai, I got a reality check as to where I stand. I needed to work hard. It was an eye opener for me."

Still confident of his abilities, he decided to ply his trade in Puducherry before making the move to Chhattisgarh.

"But the only thing was the self belief, you have to believe in yourself to be amongst them. That was always there in me. That came to me in Mumbai.

"I decided to move back to my home state Chhattisgarh because earlier MP-Chhattisgarh were same because I wanted to play red ball. It was emotionally very difficult for me."

Shashank was picked up by Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in 2017 and then by Rajasthan Royals (2019-21) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (2022) before Punjab Kings bought him.

His passage to the Punjab side was dramatic. Following his acquisition for his base price of Rs 20 lakh at the 2024 IPL auction, there were moments when Punjab Kings doubted if they had selected the right player. But it was all down to a misunderstanding.

But he proved his worth with a 29-ball unbeaten 61 to snatch victory when heavyweights like Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow failed to fire.

"It never felt like it was a problem, next day Sanjay (Bangar) sir called to say I was always on the list. Punjab have always given chance to domestic talent. So it was never any tension."

At SRH, he worked with batting legend Brain Lara and in his very first IPL innings, he scored an exceptional six-ball 25, that included three sixes, albeit in a losing cause against the Titans.

Despite performing well in the domestic circuit, Shashank found himself without any takers in the 2023 IPL season, and he contemplated quitting cricket altogether.

"When I didn't get into IPL, I was very down. I always felt I belonged at this level.

"It was very frustrating. I was contemplating whether I should continue playing or not, I was in double mind. I thought this game is not meant for me. But my family supported me. They believed in me."

The renewed confidence was spurred by the support of his family and his determination to do well.

"Last year when I couldn't get in IPL I worked on my fitness and mental part of my game how can I trust myself more, perform in crunch situations."

The all-rounder, who bowls spin, worked on himself, focussing on his strengths.

In the age of 360 degree cricket, Shashank chooses to rely on cricketing strokes.

"I have always believed in cricketing shots rather than trying anything fancy. I worked on those cricketing aspects. Working on my strengths, trying to reduce weakness. And how I can read the game well. The mental part plays as important a role as the technical part."


He said he "visualises" scenarios to be on top of the game while indulging in yoga to keep himself calm and relaxed.

"I also worked on my bowling variations. Started doing yoga and visualisation it helped me to be calm and be more relaxed on the field," he has said after the game.

"I visualised moments like this. But turning it into reality, I am really happy and proud of myself. When I go to bat, I have to believe I am the best."