Zahir Khan can be a tempting replacement player for IPL franchises: Sanjay Manjrekar

Zahir Khan can be a tempting replacement player for IPL franchises: Sanjay Manjrekar

Khan is currently playing for the St Lucia Zouks in the CPL 2020.

Sanjay Manjrekar and Zahir Khan
Sanjay Manjrekar and Zahir Khan (Photo Source: Twitter)

Afghanistan cricket has reached greater heights in recent years. How they gained the Test cricket status and played the 50 overs World Cup 2019 instead of older boards, Zimbabwe and Ireland is a story in itself. The credit for the success of the Asian country is often given to the world-class spinners they have produced. Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are the best examples of it.

All three spinners have made their name at the international level and the T20 leagues all around the globe. They are considered as one of the most valuable players and their utility is rated very highly. The new expansion to the excellent breed of Afghan spinners is Zahir Khan. Interestingly, the 21-year-old possess the unique attribute, the chinaman bowling.

Sanjay Manjrekar, the former Indian batsman and a popular commentator has said that Zahir Khan could be an interesting prospect for  Indian Premier League’s sides as a replacement player. Harbhajan Singh is the only spinner who has pulled himself out of the extravaganza. Chennai Super Kings might look to replace him with an Indian player as only four overseas players can feature in a playing eleven.

Notably, Zahir was bought in the 2018 auction by Rajasthan Royals, but he was later ruled out of the tournament due to injury. Manjrekar posted a tweet in which he mentioned, “Zahir Khan of Afghanistan can be such a tempting replacement player for a few franchises in the IPL.”

The tweet on Zahir Khan:

Chinaman, a rare craft

Chinaman bowling is an art of bowling wrist spin by a left-hander. Kuldeep Yadav from India and former Australian spinner, Brad Hogg are the recent examples of the rare art. Having a chinaman bowler to the side, especially in limited-overs cricket, provides a greater chance of picking wickets during the middle overs to the captain along with the excitement and mystery.

At the moment, Kuldeep Yadav is the only Chinaman bowler who features in IPL and some teams are missing quality spinners. Khan has been impressive in the Caribbean Premier League and has picked up 6 wickets in 5 games during CPL 2020. He has played two Tests and a solitaire One day game for his nation. With IPL auction expected to be held during January 2020, all eyes will be on the 21-year-old wrist spinner.