Striking with the bat: check. Striking with the ball: check. Excelling in the field: check. Having Sachin Tendulkar call him the best spinner in T20 cricket: check. Rashid Khan produced one of the most excellent all-round performances, if not the greatest, to turn the tables on Kolkata Knight Riders and put Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final.
SRH have broken their four-match losing streak, giving themselves another crack at the men in yellow. They might be 0-3 against them this season, but this is the one which matters, as the 2017 season showed.
How can anyone be this good? Rashid Khan is ridiculously good, probably the most valuable player of the IPL. He has almost single-handedly driven SRH into the final, and that's not to take anything away from how good their pacers were at the death. And it's not just with the ball that Rashid made a difference. Sunrisers were gone with the bat, before he arrived and blitzed away to a sensational 10-ball 34. What came with the ball was only secondary, that's just second nature to him. He spins matches on their heads all the time. KKR weren't very smart in how they played him either. They had the rate under control, but rather than playing him out, they played reverse-sweeps, sweeps, and got out. Watch out CSK, SRH are coming again.
Though KKR were right on course in the chase, the Afghanistan bowler broke the backbone of Kolkata's batting with his incisive bowling. Shakib Al Hasan and Siddarth Kaul also chipped in with crucial wickets. A complete all-around effort from Kane Williamson and co to enter the final of the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League.
After the match, Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar took to Twitter to admit the fact that Rashid is the best spinner in the world. The 20-year old is making a reputation for himself in the shorter formats of the game. Sachin tweeted: “Always felt @rashidkhan_19 was a good spinner but now I wouldn’t hesitate in saying he is the best spinner in the world in this format. Mind you, he’s got some batting skills as well. Great guy.”
Here’s Sachin’s tweet
Always felt @rashidkhan_19 was a good spinner but now I wouldn’t hesitate in saying he is the best spinner in the world in this format. Mind you, he’s got some batting skills as well. Great guy.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) May 25, 2018
Many players tend to allow the pressure to get to them but Rashid is not that kind of a player. He craves to bail his team out in tough conditions. In the second qualifier against KKR, Rashid was the most valuable player of the match as he excelled with the bat, ball and on field. He is growing in confidence and needs to keep up the good work to ensure that his team attains positive results consistently.