Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan made history in the IPL auction in February, when they were picked in the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad for this year’s IPL.
The defending champions have made a fantastic decision by including an all-rounder in Mohammad Nabi, and a terrific leg-spinner in Rashid Khan into their side.
The Afghanistan players have been in India since March. They have played three T20s, five ODIs, and one first-class match.
Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan have had enough time to get accustomed to the Indian conditions. They can certainly be expected to star in this IPL.
As we move into the tenth edition of the IPL, here’s a look at the form of the two players in Afghanistan.
Mohammad Nabi is going into the IPL with an excellent bowling performance against Ireland in a first-class match in Greater Noida.
The right-arm off-spinner picked up figures of 6/40 in Ireland’s second innings and helped Afghanistan win by an innings and 172 runs.
Nabi also scored 89 runs off 31 balls in the third T20 against Ireland. Afghanistan won by 28 runs.
Mohammad NabiIt is an honour for both of us to have been selected in the IPL. When I was picked up by the Sunrisers, my joy knew no bounds. It is a very big achievement, and it’s a huge moment for Afghanistan cricket. It is a dream come true for me to be a part of this league.
For Nabi, how to handle pressure and maintain composure under pressure situations would be of prime importance.
Mohammad NabiIt is an opportunity for both of us to observe the big players from close quarters and see how they handle pressure situations. This is going to be a huge learning curve.
Nabi said he had a good meeting with Sunrisers’ coach Tom Moody.
Mohammad NabiHe (Moody) asked me about my strong points with regards to my bowling, batting and fielding. It has been a very casual discussion until now and we will be looking to put certain things into practice when we hit the nets before the first game. When the IPL starts, every Afghan cricket fan is going to be glued to TV sets. They have a lot of expectations from us and we will not disappoint them. I am sure they will support the Sunrisers Hyderabad. I can’t wait for the IPL to begin.
Rashid Khan had a brilliant T20 series against Ireland. He picked up nine wickets in three matches, which included figures of 5/3 in the second T20.
In the third T20, he took three wickets for 28 runs. Afghanistan won the three-match T20 series 3-0.
Even in the first-class match, which concluded on 30 March, Rashid Khan shone with the ball. The leg-spinner took 5 wickets for 99 runs in the first innings, and 3 wickets for 44 runs in the second innings.
I have always wanted to play this tournament and I would often wonder how it would feel to be a part of the IPL. That dream is now a reality and here I am in Hyderabad, ready to fulfil my dream. We as a nation and individual have worked hard to get here and it is time for us to make this IPL an enriching experience.
Rashid said it will be a learning curve and he is looking forward to working with Muttiah Muralitharan (bowling coach and mentor), as well as the big players like Yuvraj Singh, David Warner and Kane Williamson.
Rashid KhanI can learn a lot by sharing the dressing room with such legends of the game. Hopefully, we can take a lot of positives from this tournament and take it back home in Afghanistan and become better cricketers.
Talking about his own bowling, Rashid said:
Rashid KhanI have the leg-spinner, the top spinner and then the googly. These are the main weapons I am using at the nets and match. I will try and improve it more for better effectiveness. I want to try my variations against some big players and see how they read my variations.
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