Afghanistan spin twins are going the distance in IPL 2018
Both Afghan spinners have indeed taken the IPL by storm this season.
Published - Apr 27, 2018 6:04 pm | Updated - Apr 27, 2018 6:04 pm
Amongst the spin bowlers ruling the circuit in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, two young guns from Afghanistan are having quite a say. That brings a lot of awe and inspiration for the young pair, who have got the tricks and trades to get batsmen thinking. Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are those shining lights bringing a lot of variety in the 11th edition of the mega cash-rich event.
Rashid has already earned worldwide respect and love for the series of performances for the national team. The 20-year-old played a significant role in helping Afghanistan win the ICC 2018 World Cup Qualifiers. For Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rashid Khan has continued the hard work and has bowled with a lot of intelligence.
As for 17-year-old Mujeeb, Kings XI Punjab skipper R Ashwin deserves all the praise for trusting him from the start. Like Rashid Khan, he too has chipped in with some good performances. Mujeeb Ur Rahman has the IPL to help him grow immensely and bowling alongside Ashwin will do him a world of good.
The young duo can go on to make the difference for their sides as the tourney progresses and fans back in Afghanistan will be hoping they keep making the nation proud.
Dot balls a crucial factor
What makes them stand out is their economy rate in the matches they have played. Rashid has an economy rate of 7.17 after seven games. SRH are second in the table and the leg-spinner has been the bowler, a captain could trust besides the nine wickets he has to his name.
This has been a factor that has come from bowling dot balls. Rashid bowled really well to put brakes on the Mumbai Indians twice earlier. Figures of 1/13 followed by 2/11 were two standout performances. Against MI he bowled 32 dot balls in eight overs. The performance against KXIP on Thursday just got better. 3/19 in four overs saw the spinner eke out a match-winning show yet again.
Interestingly, Rashid has 72 dot balls in IPL 2018 and Mujeeb has 61.
Mujeeb, on the other hand, has an economy rate of 6.51 after seven matches for KXIP. He has amassed seven wickets so far. Being the youngest ever player to have played in the IPL, the offie has made the right noises. MS Dhoni’s praise for Mujeeb after CSK’s loss to KXIP summed it up for the teenager into the positive direction his cricket is going.
Rashid the benchmark for Mujeeb
What Rashid has already achieved in the international arena is a way for Mujeeb to draw inspiration from. The latter has played 15 ODIs for Afghanistan and has picked a whopping 35 wickets already. Bowling alongside Rashid in the national set-up is obviously helping the player to follow the former’s footsteps.
Afganistan has moved up leaps and bounds in cricket and a lot of credit should be given to the duo. Rashid was recently adjudged Wisden’s T20 player of the year and that in turn is a huge bonus for the spinner. At a young age he has grown up to be a top-class player and that is indeed a big factor for 17-year Mujeeb to learn.
Spin twins aim to bring joy to Afghanistan
Getting into the IPL has already brought a lot of cheer for the Afghans. The global T20 League has followers all over the world and Afghanistan is no distant land. Post his match-winning performance earlier against MI, Rashid stated that it is important for him to bring smiles to people’s faces in his native land.
In a country that has been massacred by terrorism, the glimmer of hope comes from cricket where the nation has done wonders in recent years. Seeing young Mujeeb doing well will bring a lot of hope and satisfaction for the people of Afghanistan. In the recently held World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, he snapped 16 scalps in seven matches.
Mujeeb isn’t allowing language to be a hindrance
Being termed as a mystery spinner, young Mujeeb is winning hearts. He doesn’t understand Hindi or English very well, and despite that, he has carried the instructions from skipper Ashwin well. The performance against Delhi was a stunner for Mujeeb.
KXIP coach Virender Sehwag lauded Mujeeb saying he can create similar impact like that of Sunil Narine when he arrived on the scene. The franchise is confident that Mujeeb will learn and adjust during the IPL. He was bought at the auction for a whopping Rs 4 crore.