Tue. May 17th, 2022


Brian Lara made a big statement on leg-spinner Rashid Khan.© BCCI/IPL

Rashid Khan’s stats speak for itself. On Saturday, the Gujarat Titans leg-spinner became only the fourth overseas player to take 100 wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after Dwayne Bravo (179 wickets, 158 matches), Lasith Malinga (170 wickets, 122 matches) and Sunil Narine (149 wickets, 142 matches). The Afghanistan cricketer is the joint-third fastest (83 matches) to reach 100 wickets in the IPL along with Amit Mishra and Ashish Nehra.

Khan, who took 2/22 in four overs against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday to become the 16th bowler to tally 100 wickets in the IPL, played for Sunrisers Hyderabad from 2017 to 2021. He became a superstar playing for the franchise. In five seasons with them, Khan was one of the most consistent spinners in the T20 franchise league with 93 wickets in 76 matches. However, he left SRH after the 2021 IPL and was picked by Gujarat Titans for INR 15 crore from the 2022 player draft.

But, SRH batting coach Brian Lara feels his team is doing well without the talented Khan. “I have a great respect for Rashid Khan but I believe we have the right combination. Rashid Khan was someone who opposition teams decided to defend against, he was not much of a wicket-taker,” Lara said Star Sports after SRH’s win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday.

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“Yes (economy of) 5.5-6 runs per over is great but I think when you have a guy like Washington Sundar spinning the ball into the left-handers in the first six overs, He is an asset. Suchith has come in as his replacement due to injury and he is an asset as well.

“We have gone in with four fast bowlers every single game so far. Of course, the pitches may change, they may have less grass later on. We have Shreyas Gopal as well, though he hasn’t had a game so far. He is also someone who has a hat-trick in the IPL. I still think we have a lot in the reserves to show the IPL and I am not too worried. All respect to Rashid Khan, if he was a member of this team, I think we might have been 7 out of 7, I don’t know,” Lara added.

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