Rashid Khan, the maverick from Afghanistan
Doing it since 2017, in some style
Rashid has been active in IPL since 2017 and has been winning games for his side for as long as well. He was first picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2017 and played an instrumental role for the franchise till 2021.
It is mind blowing to think that he has never given away runs at more than 6.75 RPO through all these years in the IPL, especially when some of the biggest hitters in world cricket are baying for bowler’s blood at almost every delivery.
Rashid wasn’t able to reach a settlement with Hyderabad and was released by the franchise before the IPL 2022 mega auctions. Hyderabad’s loss was Gujarat Titans’ gain as they snaffled him up.
Starring for GT
Rashid Khan produced another consistent season as he took 19 wickets from 16 games. Even the biggest of bashers were just trying to not lose their wicket to Rashid Khan and it was courtesy of him that Gujarat Titans went on to win both the playoff matches.
They first beat Rajasthan by 7 wickets in Qualifier 1 to make it to the final straight away and then registered another comfortable 7 wicket victory against their opponents in the final to lift the IPL 2022 title, all thanks to the maverick from Afghanistan.
If you look at the coaching manual, spinners and particularly leg spinners over the years have been coached to both slowly and to loop the ball high in the air over the batter’s eyeline, tempting him to go for the drive.
This in return will create chances for the batter to get out if the ball spins and either catches his edge or sneaks through the bat pad gap.
Quick and troublesome
However, Rashid who has modelled himself on Shahid Afridi and Anil Kumble always looks to bowl quite quickly, over 90 kmph. Hence, the batters get almost no time to decipher his variations. Even if you are able to distinguish between his leg spinner and googly, his flipper will certainly get you as it has even greats like MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli over the years in the IPL.
When you see Jos Buttler dead batting you like it is day 5 of a test match and England is playing for a draw, can there be a bigger compliment?