When Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of 2017 IPL on Wednesday, Afghanistan fans will keep a close watch on the David Warner’s playing XI. The reason is that two of Afghanistan star players in Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi may make IPL debut and be part of the playing XI. Rashid Khan is a certainty considering the superb form he is in this year. Nabi may have to wait to play his debut IPL match. However, both have done enough in limited-overs cricket this year to push for a place in the playing XI on Wednesday.
Rashid Khan has been in tremendous form in 2017. He has taken 26 wickets in 10 ODIs in 2017 with two four-wicket hauls and one six-wicket haul. In 7 T20Is in 2017, Rashid Khan has taken 15 wickets with the best bowling figures of 5/3 against Ireland. Overall, he has taken 41 wickets in 22 limited-overs matches this year. This brilliant statistics make Rashid Khan a favourite to get featured in the playing XI when Sunrisers take on RCB. It’s for no reason that Rashid Khan was bought for Rs 4 crore in 2017 IPL auctions.
Nabi too has done a brilliant job so far in 2017. His all-round skills are too good to ignore. But he might have to wait for his debut as Sunrisers are packed with quality overseas all-round players who served them well in last year’s edition.
Nabi has been in terrific form with both bat and ball in 2017, making him one of the best limited-overs players around. He has taken 15 wickets in 10 ODIs and 7 wickets in 7 T20Is in 2017. Overall, he has 22 wickets in 17 limited-overs matches in 2017. He has also scored 217 runs in 9 innings @ 27.13. In 5 T0I innings, he has scored 161 runs @ 40.25.
The records speak for itself, making it difficult for Sunrisers to keep these two star Afghanistan players away from action for long. It’s up to Nabi and Rashid how they make the best use of the opportunity in the 2017 IPL and achieve greater success in their limited-overs career.
It will be a historic moment for Afghanistan and their fans to see their favourite players turn out in IPL colours. The opportunity will pave the way for a global recognition as IPL is the most lucrative and popular T20 tournament across the cricketing world.