Mohammad Nabi, the all-rounder of Afghanistan, would have played all the matches in the IPL had he been a part of any franchise apart from Sunrisers Hyderabad according to the former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir. He made this observation during an interaction on Star Sports.
On being asked about the excellent performances that Mohammad Nabi performed in the recently concluded CPL, Gautam Gambhir called him the most underrated player in T20 cricket considering his all-round contributions. He scored 156 runs and took 12 wickets averaging only 17.
Mohammad Nabi Is The Most Underrated All-rounder As He Hails From Relatively New And Smaller Cricketing Nation Afghanistan: Gautam Gambhir
He added that the former Afghanistan captain is not talked about in the same breath as Kieron Pollard, AB De Villiers, Rashid Khan, or David Warner.
“According to me, he is the most underrated player in T20 cricket. You talk about Kieron Pollard, AB de Villiers, Rashid Khan or David Warner but if you see his contribution, he is a brilliant fielder, gives you four overs with the ball, bowls in the first 6 overs, bats at No.5 or No.6 and can play the big shots.”
The former left-handed opener observed that Mohammad Nabi is not too far behind West Indian KKR recruit Andre Russell with regards to his impact as an all-rounder. Gautam Gambhir said that he is underrated mainly because he comes from Afghanistan, which is a relatively newer and smaller cricketing nation.
“We talk about Andre Russell as a quality all-rounder but Mohammad Nabi probably may not be in that category but he is not that far behind. Because he comes from Afghanistan, who do not play that much cricket, so people do not rate him that much.”
Mohammad Nabi Does Not Get Many Opportunities As He Is Part Of SRH Squad Which Has 4 Prominent Foreigners: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir mentioned that Mohammad Nabi does not get enough opportunities he deserves in the IPL, since he is a part of a Sunrisers Hyderabad team which has four other prominent overseas players in the squad. It will be hard to pick only 4 foreigners from the list including David Warner, Rashid Khan, Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow, Mitchell Marsh, Billy Stanlake, Mohammad Nabi, and Fabien Allen.
“He is also in a franchise where you play David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Rashid Khan and Kane Williamson, so he does not get that many opportunities.”
The former KKR captain was of the opinion that if Mohammad Nabi had been in any other IPL franchise, he would have been a regular member of the playing XI.
“If Mohammad Nabi was in some other franchise, he would have played all the 14 matches in the IPL. And if you play him in all the 14 matches of the IPL, you will come to know his impact.”
Gautam Gambhir signed off by reminding everyone that the former Afghanistan captain showcased his prowess as an all-rounder in the limited opportunities he got in IPL 2019.
“We had seen in the last IPL as well how he made an impact with the new ball and then later as a batsman, brilliant fielder. So, for me probably one of the most underrated T20 cricketers at the moment in world cricket.”
Mohammad Nabi had played eight matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad in last season’s IPL. The off-spinner picked up 8 wickets in those matches, at a decent average of 24.25 along with an exceptional economy rate of 6.65. Although he did not get too many chances with the bat, he showcased his ball-striking ability by scoring his 115 runs at an excellent strike rate of 151.31. Overall he has played 13 matches taking 11 wickets at a decent average of 27.18 and also scored 135 runs averaging 15 as he bats lower down the order.