It was the most shocking decision of the retentions that the Sunrisers Hyderabad released Rashid Khan, the best T20 spinner in the world and a definite future legend in the format, ahead of the mega-auction, with reports suggesting he wanted the first priority retention.
Well, he must have made them regret that on Wednesday, though, stealing the game away at the Wankhede. Gujarat Titans, one of the two new franchises, pounced on the opportunity to bag Rashid and got him for 15 crores, the same price as their skipper Hardik Pandya.
Great team effort Happy to be contributing to the win tonight 🙌
— Rashid Khan (@rashidkhan_19) April 23, 2022
SRH owners and decision-makers would have felt slightly better when Rashid was taken for 45 runs in 4 wicketless overs, that the spinner didn’t manage to inflict any hurt on his former franchise with the ball.
Little did they know that the Afghanistan cricketer has worked extensively on his batting over the last year and was ready to become their nightmare with the bat in hand as he smashed consecutive sixes on the last two balls of the chase to clinch a last-ball thriller, remaining unbeaten on 31 off just 11 balls.
When asked about his reaction to defeating his former franchise, Rashid sounded happy as a victor could be.
“Feels good, to go there and have that self-belief and keep my shape stronger and hit it, Happy to deliver against them (SRH), just trying to play my game and have that belief on my batting which I’m working from the last two years,” Rashid said soon after the game.
RASHID KHAN – TAKE A BOW 💥
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) April 27, 2022
22 runs were needed off the last over, bowled by Marco Jansen. Tewatia and Rashid smacked four sixes in the over to complete a thunderous run chase; their partnership worth 59 runs off 24 balls. Asked about his conversation then, he revealed he had told Tewatia that Lockie Ferguson had conceded 25 runs in SRH’s last over, so the task at hand was manageable if they keep their calm.
“When it was 22 left. I just told Tewatia that we have given 25 in the last over with one of our best bowler bowling and I told him that we needed to have that belief and not panic, anything is possible. Just stay there, keep your shape and hit it strong and that was the plan (with Tewatia),” he added.
Rashid Khan further talked about the environment created in the dressing room. He hailed skipper Pandya and coach Ashish Nehra for keeping a jolly atmosphere where the players are enjoying each other.
“It has been very calm and cool since day one and it’s a great team to be part of and everyone knows the responsibility and respect each other which is a very good thing. We have been given very positive energy from the captain on and off the field and especially our head coach Ashish bhai has kept the team in a beautiful environment. We are enjoying each other’s company and trying to give our hundred percent. So happy to win and these two points really helps the team in the end and lucky to be in the right side,” he concluded.