Indian Premier League 2017
Warner reveals Rashid's dew diligence
Sunrisers captain explains how teenage leggie prepared for Mumbai night dew by bowling with a soaked ball at training
13 April 2017, 05:16 PM AEST
Bowling with a wet ball can be the bane of even the most seasoned leg-spinner.
But David Warner has detailed how Afghan teenage spin sensation Rashid Khan delivered another impressive bowling effort in the Indian Premier League, despite the Wankhede Stadium's heavy dew making his craft even more difficult.
With Sunrisers Hyderabad defending a modest total of 158, Rashid conceded just 19 runs from his four overs and collected the key scalp of Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma.
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His spell – the second in as many games in which the 18-year-old has gone for less than 20 runs from his four-over allocation – ultimately wasn't enough as Mumbai got home with eight balls to spare to hand Hyderabad their first loss of the tournament.
But Rashid's ability to deliver the vital spell was further proof of his talent, and Sunrisers skipper Warner gave a glimpse into how Rashid had prepared for the match at the Mumbai venue renowned for sporting thick dew at night.
"It's always a tough ground to defend, we knew there was going to be a bit of dew," Warner told IPLT20.com.
"It's tough circumstances (bowling) out here with the dew.
"That was something always in the back of my mind, whether (Rashid) was going to be able to handle that.
"At training, credit to him, he put a ball in a bit of water and practiced on that.
"To come out here and bowl the way he did … what a fantastic bowler."
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It continues what's been a superb beginning to Rashid's IPL career.
Warner, who described him as a "superstar in the making" after Hyderabad's nine-wicket win over Gujarat Lions, has gambled on bowling him in the Power Play in all three of the Sunrisers matches so far.
It paid off again on Wednesday night when he trapped Rohit Sharma lbw with a wrong'un, a delivery that's proved mightily deceptive for the wrist-spinner.
Rashid accounted for both Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch with wrong'uns in Hyderabad's match againt Gujarat.
His bag of tricks has been enough to get Test cricket's all-time leading wicket-taker and Sunrisers spin mentor Muttiah Muralidaran a little giddy.
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"We thought he is something special and different than other leg-spinners," Muralidaran told Indian media.
"We chose him because we saw him playing international cricket and bowling well against quality batsmen.
"He has played his part in the first two matches and done well for us. It is a good sign and we thought he will do well and he is fulfilling our expectations."
Speaking to IPLT20.com Murali added, "When we went to auction, we were thinking we would go all out for him and luckily we got him.
"He's something special because people don't read him with his googly.
"He's a wicket-taking bowler and in T20s, wicket-takers are more special."
Rashid, the first player from Afghanistan to play in the lucrative tournament, says his long-term goal is to one day represent his country in the most prestigious form of the game.
"It means a lot for Afghanistan cricket. It's a big thing for a player from an associate member to play in such a big event like IPL," he told Reuters last week.
"It's a wonderful message to all the players in Afghanistan -- that if you work hard and perform well, you can achieve any target.
"It's been a wonderful experience, playing with big names like (David) Warner, Yuvraj (Singh), Kane Williamson.
"We have one of the best coaching staff that includes Tom Moody and (Muttiah) Muralitharan. It changes your game.
"The target is - I should play Test cricket for my country. That's my main target, to be called a Test cricketer."