Tabraiz Shamsi: The Rajasthan Royal’s Hope

Currently, sitting at the top of ICC (T20I bowlers) rankings – Tabraiz Shamsi is a new recruit of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals. In a t20 game, leg spinners are proven match-winners and every team needs them to bolster their spin attack. Having a left-arm leg spinner of Tabraiz caliber is a luxury for any T20 franchise. The lack of quality left-arm wristy in the International arena makes him even more potent for any franchise. Though Rajasthan Royals signed Tabraiz as a replacement, he can prove as a crucial player in the 2nd phase of IPL2021. In this blog, we will attempt to analyze his effectiveness in the Rajasthan Royals Camp.

Spin: The Problem

RR managed to win only 9 matches (out of 21 matches) in their previous one and half-season. There were plenty of problems for them in the first phase of IPL 2021. Since some overseas players pulled out of the tournament due to Covid-19 fear. Nonetheless, they won 3 matches out of 7 in the first half.

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In IPL 2020 and the first phase of IPL 2021, the Spin department of RR emerged as a weak area. They had only Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia as the spinners. Apart from them, they get a bit of spin from Riyan Parag. Now, look at their bowling figures in IPL 2020 and the first phase of IPL 2021.

Shreyas Gopal

Year Matches Wickets Avg Econ. Rate
2020
14
10
43
8.5
2021
02
00
-
12.5

Rahul Tewatia

Year Matches Wickets Avg Econ. Rate
2020
14
10
32
7.0
2021
07
02
98
9.7

In IPL 2020, Shreyas Gopal played all the matches but failed to give breakthroughs in quick succession. Meanwhile, Rahul Tewatia performed decently. However, in the first phase of IPL 2021, Tewatia managed to grab only 2 wickets whereas, Shreyas failed to pick up even a single in the 2 matches he played. Moreover, both of them have leaked the runs at a high econ. rate of 10.3. One may argue that Rajasthan Played 5 matches in Mumbai during the IPL2021 1st phase where spinners didn’t get an assist, but that wasn’t the case with every team. Here are some numbers to reflect on it:

Team Overs Econ. Rate Wickets
RR
24
10.3
02
Opposition
27
6.8
08

With only 2 combined wickets in 5 matches and a high economy rate, RR’s Spinners have struggled in the first phase. Meanwhile, the opposition’s spinners have done comparatively well in those 5 matches. In fact, every franchise has at least one finger spinner in their squad where RR looks depleted.

Tabraiz Shamsi: The Magician

This chinaman bowler did play 3 matches for RCB, back in 2016. He failed to give notable performances back then though. However, he has been a different bowler while representing South Africa in 41 matches. His recent numbers also suggest that he has been in the form of his life. Here are the stats to reflect on the same:

Year

Matches

Wickets

Avg

Econ

2020

9

9

30

7.9

2021

16

28

12

5.4

Overall

41

49

21.1

6.8

The fact that he has taken nearly 60 % of his T20I career wickets in 2021 alone at an Eco rate of 5.4 is astonishing. With these outstanding numbers, it would be safe to say that Tabraiz is the best candidate across the world to strengthen RR’s struggling spin department. In fact, he offers a variety – of left-arm chinaman – in the Rajasthan Royals’ attack.

Team Combination

The four overseas players’ rule in the IPL always creates a selection dilemma for the playing XI. Like every other franchise, RR too has quality overseas players. As per me, they should go with 2 foreign batters + Morris + Shamsi if the pitch assists Spin.

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Probable XI :

  1. Liam Livingstone
  2. Yashasvi Jaiswal
  3. Sanju Samson
  4. Anuj/Mahipal
  5. Glenn Phillips
  6. Riyan Parag
  7. Tewatia
  8. Chris Morris
  9. Jaydev Unadkat
  10. Tabraiz Shamsi
  11. Chetan Sakaria

Conclusion

Overall, Tabraiz Shamsi is a worthy prospect for Rajasthan Royals, especially considering their fragile spin department. Moreover, he adds extra variety to the squad. Other than RR, only KKR has any left-arm bowler i.e Kuldeep Yadav.

Royals might look to pair Tabraiz with a right arm leggie Rahul. Will we see any other dangerous pair like Kulcha? Well, that’s a question we will leave for the RR management to answer. Shamsi – the magician with his bowling and celebration brings in a lot of hope for the Rajasthan franchise to turn their year around.

What do you think?

What are your thoughts about Tabraiz Shamsi in the Rajasthan Royals camp? Do share with us in the comments section, or on our Twitter and Instagram handles.  You can also write directly to me at my Twitter handle Sahil Raj.

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