Aakash Chopra, the former Indian opener and commentator, was of the opinion that SunRisers Hyderabad spinner Rashid Khan was absolutely phenomenal for the franchise in IPL 2020 since all opposition batsmen found it tough to read the leg-spinner.
Aakash Chopra made this observation while reviewing the David Warner-led team’s performances in IPL 2020 in a video shared on his YouTube channel. SunRisers Hyderabad finished 3rd after being defeated by Delhi in Qualifier 2.
Aakash Chopra: Man Of Tournament For Hyderabad Was Rashid Khan
Aakash Chopra started by stating that although their skipper opener David Warner could be in contention as the Man of the Tournament for the SunRisers Hyderabad, he would opt for Rashid Khan instead for his miserly bowling.
“There is no doubt about the Man of the Tournament for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, although you can do a toss-up between David Warner and Rashid Khan, I am going with Rashid Khan because he was amazing.”
The reputed commentator reasoned that while David Warner came into his own in the latter stages of IPL 2020, the Afghanistan captain was at the top of his game right at the onset in the initial games of the tournament.
“He was brilliant right from the starting to the end. Warner shone brightly at the end, became explosive but Rashid Khan was amazing right from the beginning. He was bowling at the one spot continuously.”
David Warner scored 548 runs in 16 games and has scored in excess of 500 runs every time since 2014 sans 2018 when he didn’t play owing to year-long ban for the ball-tampering offence. He finished 3rd among leading run-scorers.
The former KKR player and current commentator gave examples of some of Rashid Khan’s resourceful spells against the Delhi Capitals and the Chennai Super Kings to stress upon his point.
“Twice against the Delhi Capitals, once 3/7 in 4 overs and 3/14 in 4 overs on another occasion and he did not do that once, he did it many times against a lot of opposition teams, once he had the Chennai Super Kings on a tight leash.”
He added that Rashid Khan’s economy rates in the matches won by the SunRisers Hyderabad were ample proof of his efficiency with the ball.
“He gave less than 20 runs in his 4 overs on many occasions, he had an economy rate of 3-3.5 runs in Sunrisers Hyderabad wins. I mean this is incredible.” Aakash Chopra on the reasons behind Rashid Khan’s success
Rashid Khan was the highest wicket-taker for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2020, picking up 20 wickets in 16 games with a career-best of 3/7 averaging 17.2 and IPL 2020’s best economy of 5.37. Overall in IPL, he has picked 75 wickets in 62 games averaging a meagre 20.49. Since 2017, he has not conceded more than 7 runs in every season, which is an incredible achievement by T20 standards.
Aakash Chopra: Leg Spinner Rashid Khan Came After Playing Less Cricket
Aakash Chopra opined that the leg-spinner being relatively fresh after only playing the Caribbean Premier League and the faster nature of the UAE pitches made him even more potent.
“My theory was that he had come after playing less cricket, only played the CPL and the pitches in UAE were a little quicker and on such pitches if you don’t read him from the hand, then you are late and cannot read him off the pitch.”
The 43-year-old concluded by observing that all the batsmen failed to read Rashid Khan in recently concluded IPL 2020 while reiterating that he was surely the Man of the Tournament for the Orange Army.
“People were trying to read him off the pitch but no one could do that, all the batsmen turned out to be illiterate when they batted against him. So, he was by far the Man of the Tournament for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.”
Rashid Khan was the highest wicket-taker for the SunRisers Hyderabad and the 6th leading wicket-taker in IPL 2020. He was also the most economical bowler of the tournament by conceding runs at just 5.37 per over.