Tabraiz Shamsi: The South African spinner will be representing his second Indian Premier League franchise in Rajasthan Royals.
South Africa spinner Tabraiz Shamsi is one of four overseas replacements signed by Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals ahead of the second phase of the 14th season of the tournament.
In the process, Rajasthan have become the second IPL franchise to acquire Shamsi’s services. It was Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore for whom Shamsi had made his IPL debut picking three wickets in five matches across two seasons at an economy and strike rate of 9.19 and 32 respectively.
Shamsi, 31, is currently the No. 1 ranked T20I spinner and considers bowling at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium as a “challenge” due to its short boundaries. Readers must note that RR are scheduled to play their last two league matches against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah.
“I think it is a challenge. But it also means that you have an opportunity to get wickets. Sometimes on grounds like that, a spell which goes for 35-40 runs can be a match-winning spell, whereas in other games, a spell of 3 or 4 wickets can change a game. So, I think it’s not just about taking wickets,” Shamsi was quoted as saying in a Rajasthan Royals’ media release.
Shamsi, who will get to ply his trade in the IPL after four years, is coming on the back of being the highest T20I wicket-taker in the last two years dismissing 39 batsmen in 28 T20Is at an average of 17.25, an economy rate of 6.34 and a strike rate of 16.3.
Tabraiz Shamsi believes Rajasthan Royals are in a “good position” ahead of IPL 2021 resumption
While Shamsi will have South African teammates in David Miller and Chris Morris for company at RR, it will be interesting to see how and when the team management opts to play an overseas spinner.
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) September 17, 2021
Royals will start the tournament as the fifth-ranked team above Punjab Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad on the back of winning three and losing four out of their seven IPL 2021 matches under a new captain in Sanju Samson.
Shamsi, who has had stints in the Caribbean Premier League, T20 Blast, Mzansi Super League and The Hundred, believes that Rajasthan are in a “good position” at the halfway mark. With RR set to play their first match of the second leg against Punjab in Dubai on September 21, Shamsi is looking forward to the rest of the matches for his team is still very much in contention for IPL 2021 playoffs.
“I think whether the team is at the first spot or the fifth, the position at the halfway mark doesn’t really count. It’s what you do in the second half that matters. So, I think we’re in a good position right now and we’ve got half a tournament to play, so it depends on how we play the rest of the games.
“I’m generally someone who tries to bring a very positive vibe to the team environment – whether it’s speaking to other bowlers, players, or just cracking a joke or two in the changing room to lighten up the mood,” Shamsi said.