Afghanistan teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman became the youngest ever debutant in the Indian Premier League after being picked in the playing eleven of the Kings XI Punjab side for their campaign opener against Delhi Daredevils at Mohali on Sunday.
The 17-year-old justified his hype with returns of 2-28 from his four overs as the Daredevils were restricted to 166-7 off their 20 overs after being put in to bat first.
Here, we take a closer look at the young spinner’s superb debut.
OVERS BOWLED: 4
RUNS CONCEDED: 28
The Afghanistan spin prodigy made a grand debut by dismissing Daredevils opener Colin Munro with just his third delivery. His much touted variations were on full display as the batsmen found it tough to attack the teenager. He hardly gave anything away, ending up with another crucial wicket of Rishabh Pant.
Plenty. The mystery spinner used all the variations using the traditional off-spin, leg-spin, googlies and more to keep the batsmen guessing. He was asked to bowl two overs in the power-play, and he did it admirable, conceding only 11 runs in those. He also showed his excellence in the field, running out the well set Gautam Gambhir with a direct-hit.
Not much. Displayed maturity well beyond his years. Unfazed by the challenge of bowling to some of the biggest hitters in the world, Mujeeb held his nerves even when he was put under pressure. The dismissal of Rishabh Pant off a googly after being hit for a boundary showed the mental strength the youngster possesses.
It does not get any better than this for any debutant let alone a spinner who is only 17. When your skipper trusts you to bowl in the power-play and in the death on your maiden IPL outing, you know you are special. Mujeeb’s purchase is already looking like a winner for the Punjab franchise and he could end up as a superstar by the time the IPL ends.
Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment service and Condé Nast Entertainment on Saturday announced the production of an original unscripted series on cricketing franchise the Mumbai Indians, as the team makes their bid to win the Indian Premier League for a record fourth time.
The series will bring viewers a never-before-seen look at the richest tournament in cricket-the world’s second most-watched sport-covering unseen aspects of the team, the compelling stories and characters that bind them with the vibrant city they call home.
The eight-part series will spend time with players in the 2018 season, both on and off the field, on the road and at home to go deep into the cricketing values and traditions which make the Mumbai Indians the most fascinating and followed team IPL globally, all leading up to the 2018 finals.
They will follow the team both on and off the field.. In Partnership with #CondeNast Entertainment..
— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) April 7, 2018
Mumbai Indians, led by Rohit Sharma, is the most successful IPL franchisee having won three titles (2013, 2015 & 2017) and two Champions League (2011 & 2014) trophies.
Over the years, the Mumbai-based outfit has thrown up multiple talents like Jasprit Bumrah, Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal, Ambati Rayudu and Yuzvendra Chahal who have gone to represent India at international competitions. The franchise is the most followed team in the IPL.
The defending champions did not get off to the best of starts in the IPL 2018 campaign as they suffered a one-wicket loss to Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener on Saturday at Mumbai.
Both Sunrisers and Royals are feeling the repercussions of the Australia ball-tampering episode after losing the services of David Warner and Steve Smith respectively, both of whom were designated two lead their sides.
In the absence of the two Aussie crowd favourites, Ajinkya Rahane has been appointed as the skipper of the Royals while Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson has taken the reins at Hyderabad.
Warner’s loss cannot be understated for the Sunrisers. The left-hander is the most successful overseas international in the history of the IPL and the outfit will hope that Williamson can fill in those big boots with their batting looking a little thin.
They will however, bank on having one of the best looking bowling attacks on paper with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Afghan leg-spin prodigy Rashid Khan in their ranks.
On the other hand, Royals have vast riches in their overseas department to cope with the loss of Smith. With the likes of D’Arcy Short, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes at their disposal, the 2008 winners will fancy themselves against any opponent if those four can get firing.
Where they do lack though, is in their domestic ranks where they have no big names apart from Ajinkya Rahane.
PLAYERS IN FOCUS
After making his return recently to international cricket after an indefinite suspension, Stokes will be itching to remind the world once again of his outrageous talents and there’s no better place than the IPL to do that.
One the other hand, Rahul Tripathi impressed one and all in the IPL for Rising Pune Super Giant last year with some eye-catching displays and he could be a wild card for the Royals batting line-up this year at the top.
Another man who could cause damage is Smith’s replacement – Heinrich Klaasen, who gave a great account of himself when India toured South Africa. The wicket-keeper batsman has the weapons to unsettle any spinner and could be a handful on Indian tracks.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (C), Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Deepak Hooda, Shakib Al Hasan, Carlos Brathwaite, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Sidharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma.
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Jos Buttler, Stuart Binny, K Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat.