Dealing with social media trolls and low scores
The Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman has struggled to make an impression in the IPL this year after scoring a century, but he hopes to improve in the second half of the season.
Life in the IPL: An English Cricketer’s Eye-Opening Experience in India
Five weeks ago, Harry Brook landed in India with little idea of what to anticipate. He used “chaos” to summarize his first IPL season halfway done.
I’ve enjoyed every second of it, he declared. “Hyderabad is a lovely region of the world, yet it’s clear that the culture there is different. Since there are tuk-tuks everywhere, crossing the street takes 30 minutes if you don’t force your way through. It’s chaos, to be honest.
“The number of cameras present has captured my attention. You are constantly being filmed and photographed by people. You enter the nets, especially during practice, and a camera is present. I had no expectations before I arrived, but I rapidly realized that.”
He has delighted in sampling the regional fare, particularly the famous biryanis of Hyderabad. He explained, “It’s like the main dish, but I can’t eat it every time. I consider myself better at handling spice than a few of the fellas here, but it amazes me how some can eat curry for breakfast. With some eggs and avocado on toast, I’m content.
Harry Brook receives a life-changing salary from Sunrisers Hyderabad of Rs 13.25 crore (roughly US$1.6 million) for a player without an England national contract. It is a sum that will inevitably present difficulties on the pitch, and the scrutiny placed on a 24-year-old’s debut in this competition will be brutal.
But putting performance aside, Harry Brook has found himself struggling with the contrasts that the IPL brings up: cricket’s richest league takes place in a nation where millions of people live in poverty. Without prompting, Brook remarked, “There are so many homeless people around.
“I just want to be of assistance to everyone. If you step outside our hotel, you can see someone not fortunate enough to have any shelter; they are sleeping on the side of the road 50 yards away. It makes me so sad to see. It has opened my eyes.
Harry Brook has had a unique season on the pitch. His undefeated 55-ball hundred against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens was one of the top innings of IPL 2023; in his other seven innings, he had not reached 20.
Harry Brook his rollercoaster journey in the IPL: highs and Lows
He said, “I’d have liked to have done a little better.” I had that one fantastic inning, but aside from that, I haven’t done anything. That has been discouraging, but I hope to change that in the remaining contest rounds.
He began the season in the middle of the order, where he has batted for most of his T20 career. But Sunrisers coach Brian Lara suggested that Brook move up the order when Abhishek Sharma was forced to withdraw due to a niggle.
“You’re a Test player,” he told me,” stated Brook. He knew my ability to confront the swinging ball and adjust to it. He, therefore, sent me up top. I scored a hundred in my second game, which was my first time really doing it.
It was an incredible inning. After swiping Umesh Yadav over the off side for back-to-back sixes to get to 31 in just 11 balls, Harry Brook burst at the end of the innings after toiling against spin during the middle overs. He scored 100 runs in the last over, contributing to 228.
He added, “I just thought, ‘Sod it, I’m going to try and hit the ball hard.'” “That started off coming off. I attempted to get off strike to their spinners, which may be the best in the league (Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, and Suyash Sharma), and fortunately, we had a few solid partnerships through the middle. At one of the timeouts, we had a discussion during which I said, “I’ll try to bat through so that anyone else coming in can be positive, and then I’ll look to try to take the seamers down.” It all fell into place because [Aiden] Markram and Abhishek played well for me.
Harry Brook made a casual remark as he accepted the trophy for the game regarding the barrage of criticism he had received from online trolls during his first three games of the season: He grinned and added, “I’m glad I could shut them up. After a string of poor performances, the abuse has unavoidably resurfaced.
It’s one of the more challenging parts, he said. You often find yourself on your phone when you have nothing to do, are in a hotel, and aren’t getting out and about as much as you would at home. Although it’s keyboard warriors at their best, things that pop up are useless. For the time being, I’ve quit using social media. I hope that changes anything.
Golfing with Brian Lara: Brook’s Bond with His Coach
Even though he has only faced 45 balls with spin this season, a large portion of that criticism has been centered on the idea that he struggles against it. When he was in the middle of the pack, he said, “I haven’t faced as much as usual.” But it presents a distinct difficulty because India is well known for producing talented spinners.
Brook was in Delhi at our conversation, preparing to train for Saturday night’s victory over Sunrisers at Arun Jaitley Stadium. He must have been glad to be back when he shuffled back into the middle order. “There are gaps everywhere when you’re coming in at four or five after the powerplay,” he said.
I’ve hit every fielder on the field while I’ve been opening, at least in contests where I haven’t scored runs. Even though it’s occasionally frustrating, it’s been a positive experience, and it’s fantastic to demonstrate that I can bat up there as well.
After five games as the opener, Harry Brook entered the field at No. 5 against the Delhi Capitals. He then pulled Mitchell Marsh’s second delivery, a slower-ball bouncer, straight to short midwicket, where Axar Patel had an excellent opportunity at the second try. Two weeks after a century, he might now discover his position is in danger.
Lara and Brook have started playing golf together after speaking “quite a bit” while training. The Hyderabad Golf Club’s resident pro and Marco Jansen just ended their proud unblemished record. The professional, who shot three under, “heavily carried him,” Brook chuckled. “We had our say,”
While Brook recognizes that his coach is “Among the most talented competitors in game history.” he is too young to recall Lara’s playing days. In 2007, Lara was eight years old when he played in his final World Cup. I was a little too young, he admitted. Naturally, I’ve watched him play and seen YouTube videos, but I don’t remember it.
Martin Speight, the school coach he continues to rely on, has been his closest confidant since his arrival in India. Brook said, “I can trust him the most. “He knows my game like nobody else,” I said.
What was Speight’s key piece of advice? Keep supporting yourself. I’m done now. I’ve got a few tiny bullet points for how I want to play, but he advises me to keep returning to my best performances and having fun. I’ve seen My Hundred Back approximately 25 times.
It would be foolish to bet against Brook succeeding in the IPL in due time, given how well he has done so far in his international career when he has dominated bowling assaults across forms. He’s just trying to ignore the noise for the time being.
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