Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan is one of the best spinners in the world at the moment. His deceiving leg-breaks and bamboozling googlies have made life tough for batsmen all around the world. Rashid Khan has become a household name due to his exploits in T20 cricket.
Rashid Khan made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut in the IPL 2017 as a 19-year-old and immediately made an impact for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) side. In 2017, Rashid Khan picked up 17 wickets in just 14 matches and emerged as one of the bowlers of the tournament. In his three seasons with SRH so far, the leg-spinner has accounted for 55 wickets in 46 matches. He is also yet to miss a match for his side ever since he made his debut.
Recently, Tom Moody, who was then the head coach of the SRH, recalled witnessing Rashid Khan for the first time in the net session. After watching Rashid Khan bowl, Tom Moody was convinced that they had discovered a gem. While speaking to Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz, Tom Moody said that he was very keen on getting a wrist spinner because of the impact they were having in the game. Moody added that he was looking for bowlers who can spin the ball both ways, whether it’s a wrist spinner or a finger spinner who can bowl the doosra. After seeing Rashid Khan's bowling videos, Moody asked the SRH analyst to keep sending more videos of the leg-spinner to inspect his bowling even more.
Moody went on to reveal that during the very first net session in the SRH camp before the first season he played, there were a few question marks about whether a kid from nowhere can suddenly step up and command the attention he did in the auction and then deliver on the big stage. So, Moody got a couple of senior players including David Warner to face him and within 20 minutes, he was convinced that Rashid Khan was the man to watch out for in the IPL. Moody reckoned that when he noticed the level of competitiveness in Rashid Khan, he realized that 'this kid is ready to go’.
Moody even said that no one understood what Rashid Khan was doing. Batsmen couldn’t work out which way he was turning it. Moody opined that he ticked every box in that first training session. He further said that Rashid went from strength to strength because once you get the trust from your own environment, it’s a very powerful thing and he won it within just 20 minutes.
Rashid didn't disappoint as he finished his debut season in the IPL as the sixth-highest wicket-taker with 17 scalps in 14 matches. The Afghanistan sensation was set to represent SRH in the IPL 2020 as well. However, the IPL 2020 was indefinitely postponed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.