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Brilliant Shakib proves his worth, yet again

  • Published at 10:37 pm May 28th, 2018
  • Last updated at 02:18 pm May 29th, 2018
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Shakib al Hasan’s bargain buy has turned out to be one of the most inspired purchases of this season and the Sunrisers Hyderabad will definitely look to bank on Shakib’s experience in the upcoming seasons and lift their second IPL title after 2016

Ace Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib al Hasan has turned out to be perhaps the best bargain buy for IPL T20 franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad this season.

Sunrisers however, did not have the last laugh as they lost the final to Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai Sunday, owing to a brilliant century from Australian Shane Watson.

With that said, with Australia’s David Warner banned from playing the IPL 2018, Sunrisers had a few challenges to overcome and they managed it well.

All the foreign recruits in the shape of stand-in captain Kane Williamson, Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, the West Indies’ Carlos Brathwaite, along with Shakib, played extremely well as Sunrisers proceeded to the final in style. What’s more, Sunrisers were arguably the best bowling unit in the money-spinning tournament until the final, pulling off some memorable wins despite defending low totals. 

The key to their bowling success was the partnership of spin duo Shakib and Rashid, especially in the middle stages of an innings. Shakib, the world’s No 1 all-rounder in Test matches and ODIs and No 3 in T20Is, played a pivotal role for the Sunrisers throughout the competition, producing all-round performances more often than not.

With the bat, Shakib has scored 239 runs in 13 innings at an average of 21.72 and strike rate of 121.31 while with the ball, the left-arm spinner has taken 14 wickets in 16 innings at an average of 31.5.

Sunrisers can certainly consider Shakib’s purchase in the players’ auction as a masterstroke decision as the all-rounder came up with the goods in key moments of a game on several occasions. Sometimes it was his brilliance which did the trick while other times it was his experience.

Shakib was released by two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders last season and during the players’ auction only two teams showed their interest in the Bangladesh Test and T20I captain – 2016 winner Sunrisers and Rajasthan Royals. And how much did he cost Sunrisers? As it were, only Indian Rupees two crore (approximately $312,500).

Shakib’s price tag raised quite a few eyebrows, given the disparity in the remuneration of the other all-rounders. How much exactly did the other established all-rounders fetch in the players’ auction? Let’s have a look, shall we.

England’s Ben Stokes was roped in for INR 12.5 crore ($1.93m), the Windies’ Andre Russell was purchased for INR 8.5 crore ($1.33m), India’s Hardik Pandya was recruited for INR 11 crore ($1.72m) while his brother Krunal was bought for INR 8.8 crore ($1.38m).

The experts lauded the Sunrisers’ masterstroke decision to pick the ever effective Shakib, that too at such a low price. Shakib was so important to the Sunrisers cause that he was picked for each and every single game of the tournament,

With Kolkata, Shakib never got the opportunity to play so many matches, that too consecutively. The Sunrisers however, gave Shakib ample game-time and the Magura lad repaid the faith of the franchise by playing well consistently throughout the competition.

Before the playoffs, Shakib scored 188 runs at an average of 21 and a strike rate of almost 120 while with the leather, the 31-year old bagged 13 wickets at a respectable economy rate of 8.01. Rashid and Williamson may have been the Sunrisers’ best foreign players this season but Shakib wasn’t that far off from the prolific duo in terms of performance and individual brilliance.

For instance, Shakib’s dismissal of Kolkata skipper Dinesh Karthik in the Eliminator was extremely vital in the context of the game. Eventually, Sunrisers went on to win the game by 13 runs.

When Karthik was at the crease, Kolkata were well and truly in the match. But following his departure, the Sunrisers turned around in remarkable fashion and sealed the tie.

Rashid might have been named the man of the match but Shakib was adjudged most valuable player of the game by the officials.

Sunriers captain Williamson often used Shakib in the powerplay overs, and the Bangladesh all-rounder came up trumps often with his economical bowling. Shakib and Indian Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s controlled bowling during the powerplay provided the other bowlers like Rashid the perfect platform to pick up wickets.

And so, Shakib’s bargain buy has turned out to be one of the most inspired purchases of this season and the Sunrisers will definitely look to bank on Shakib’s experience in the upcoming seasons and lift their second IPL title after 2016.

Shakib in IPL 2018

Batting

M    Runs    HS    Ave    SR    100/50    

17    239    35    21.72    121.31    0/0

Bowling

M     Runs     Wkts    BBM     ER     4W/5W

17     456     14     2/18     8     0/0