Sunrisers Hyderabad’s trump-card Rashid Khan, who starred with the ball against Kings XI Punjab on Thursday, has revealed that he planned to keep Nicholas Pooran quiet by building pressure on the left-handed batsman. The plan worked like a charm as after four straight dots, Rashid dismissed Pooran in the 15th over of the second innings.
After finishing with spells of 3/14, 0/12 and 1/22 in his third, fourth and fifth games of the ongoing IPL, Rashid bowled yet another immaculate spell vs KXIP – 3/12 including a maiden – to bowl his side to their third win of the season.
Rashid, as always, strangled the batsmen in his spell and also gave the opposition a solid blow in the form of Pooran. Batting on 77 off 32 at the start of 15th over, Pooran threatened to single-handedly dismantle the SRH attack, but his stay at the crease was ended by the Afghan spinner, who got the southpaw caught at backward point.
In the post-match interview, Rashid said: “It was a crucial over, my last over – Nicholas Pooran was in the mood as well and he was going after the bowlers. I just tried my best to bowl dot balls. For me, personally, more the dot balls I bowl, better the results will be. So that’s what happened – I bowled four dot balls and he tried to hit the fifth ball too hard for a single, which resulted in a wicket. In these wickets, if you bowl in the right lengths and the right areas, you will definitely get the right results.”
It was important for Rashid to up his game on Thursday as the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar meant that he was the only experienced bowler in the side. Two days before the KXIP fixture, SRH had confirmed that Bhuvi would miss the remainder of the IPL 2020 owing to a hip injury he sustained during the game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the news, unsurprisingly, shattered Sunrisers’ hearts.
Reflecting on the talisman’s absence, Rashid admitted that losing Kumar was a huge blow to their side, but claimed that SRH have the strength to cope in the right-armer’s absence and stated that he was impressed by how the other bowlers in the side stepped up their game.
“Losing Bhuvi is a big loss for us, he has been doing so well for the team – not only with the new ball but at the death as well. His experience was helping us a lot, and as a senior bowler, he was always with us and discussing the wicket as well.
“A big loss for us, but we have (other) guys who are in great form. Khaleel, Natarajan and Sandeep are there and they are taking responsibility, too. I think it’s very important – once you get an opportunity, you just need to go there and express yourself. So far the bowling unit has been doing well and quite happy with the result as well,” added the 22-year-old.
The SRH players wore black armbands during the match, and they did the same to pay homage to Afghanistan cricketer Najeeb Tarakai, who lost his life earlier this week in a tragic accident. An emotional Rashid said that he was left shocked by the news of Tarakai’s sudden demise.
“He (Najeeb Tarakai) was a good friend, human being and we lost him two days ago in an accident, it is something shocking (SRH players wore black armbands today in his honour).”