Shahbaz Ahmed IPL 2020: The Bengali all-rounder has been handed a debut by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
During the 33rd match of the ongoing 13th season of the Indian Premier League between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Dubai, Rajasthan Royals captain Steven Smith has won the toss and chose to bat.
“We are batting. Day game, better to bat first. Same team for us. We have got a good mix with [Ben] Stokes back, we did a lot of things right in the last game. The wickets are slowing up, one reason for batting first,” Rajasthan Royals captain Steven Smith said during the toss.
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) October 17, 2020
Shahbaz Ahmed IPL 2020
While Royals have selected to take the field with the same team, Royal Challengers have made a couple of changes to their Playing XI. Coming on the back of an 8-wicket loss against Kings XI Punjab, RCB have included all-rounders Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Shahbaz Ahmed for this match.
All-rounder Shivam Dube, who has scored 102 runs in six innings at a strike rate of 136 and picked four wickets at an economy rate of 8.25, has been benched for this match. Much like Dube, pacer Siraj has also been dropped after his three wickets in as many matches coming at an average and strike rate of 34 and 10.20 respectively.
“This pitch looks a lot better, the surface looks a lot better than what we had in Sharjah. We would have batted first as well. We have learnt from our losses, that shows the character in the team. It’s been a hectic schedule this week, it’s all about executing our plans,” Bangalore captain Virat Kohli said at the toss.
Mann, who has played three IPL 2020 matches so far, is yet to get a batting opportunity this season. Ahmed, on the other hand, has been handed his IPL debut by Royal Challengers at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Ahmed, 25, was bought by RCB at his base price of INR 20 lakh in this year’s IPL. Having made a name for himself while representing Bengal across formats in the last two years, Ahmed will allure plentiful eyeballs in Dubai.
In 16 T20s, the left-arm spinner has dismissed 15 batsmen at an economy rate of 6.37. With the bat in hand, the left-hand batsman’s 158 runs have come at an average and strike rate of 31.60 and 128.45 respectively including a half-century.