Gavaskar calls Rashid Khan a ‘wanted player’ around the world

Jaipur: Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has lauded Afghanistan’s spin-bowling allrounder Rashid Khan’s performance in Gujarat Titans’ thrilling 3-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR), saying his commitment makes him “a wanted player by franchises worldwide.”

Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has Afghanistan’s spin-bowling allrounder Rashid Khan’s performance in Gujarat Titans’ thrilling 3-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) and said his commitment makes him as “a wanted player by franchises all around the world.”

Riding on a splendid knock of 72 off 44 from captain Shubman Gill, followed by a final flourish from Rashid (24 off 11 not out) and Rahul Tewatia (22 off 11), Gujarat Titans pulled off a thrilling last-ball win over Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday night.

Before showcasing his batting skills, the 25-year-old Afghan allrounder bowled an economical spell, finishing with figures of 1-18 in his four-over quota. He was adjudged Player of the Match for his all-round show in GT’s win.

Speaking on to Star Sports on Cricket Live, Gavakskar praised Rashid’s commitment to the game. “Yeah he didn’t hit the wickets like he usually does, but when he was needed with the bat he came and delivered. This is the reason he’s such a wanted player by franchises all around the world. They want him because they can see his commitment, batting, bowling and fielding.

“Look at the way he gives everything while he’s fielding. Bowlers sometimes can be a little concerned about diving on their bowling shoulder, because if they dislocate their shoulder careers are in threat. Not with Rashid Khan, he just wants to give 100%.”

“There’s another cricketer who is not playing in this IPL but who’s again similar is Ben Stokes. Anytime you see Ben Stokes batting, bowling or fielding he’s a 100%, he gives it everything. And those are the cricketers that coaches and captains want, they might not always deliver but you know the percentage is not going to be anything less than a 100%,” he added.

Former Australia cricketer Aaron Finch echoed the same sentiments on Rashid’s performance against RR, he said, “It’s not easy picking Rashid Khan, particularly when he bowls in the powerplay and he created a couple of chances too, Mathew Wade put a couple of tough chances down. In a game where almost 400 runs were scored, for a guy to go below 20, it’s extraordinary.

“We talked about it pre game that he may be back to his best after surgery, but he put us all to shame tonight. He just got the job done and that’s the great thing, always gets his 100% and gets the job done.”

Besides GT batters, Rajasthan Royals’ in-form batter Riyan Parag also stole the show with his impressive batting display. He hit three fours and five sixes in his third fifty of the season coming at a strike-rate of 158.33.

Parag’s tally in IPL 2024 now stands at 251 runs in five matches, which is only second behind leading run-getter Virat Kohli.

Gavaskar also shared his thoughts on Parag’s performance, saying, “The way he’s been batting, if he had got another eight deliveries to play, he could have scored 30 to 35 runs more in those eight deliveries. So, that would have resulted in Gujarat Titans chasing 225 instead of 197.”

Finch added, “The way Riyan Parag and Sanju Samson built their innings and then exploded towards the back end, there was a lot of pressure on the bowling and the fielding unit as well. So, it was great to see a nice and solid partnership.”


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