Former SRH coach Tom Moody has heaped praise on Rashid Khan and stated that he is an enormously gifted character who loves the contest. Moody has also added that everybody wanted to play out Rashid since last year but pressure from both ends resulted in the tactics being found out.
Apart from bringing an unflinching passion and an inspiring story with him, Rashid Khan has become the fulcrum to Sunrisers Hyderabad’s success, taking over the mantle from David Warner as the biggest match-winner in the side. An unparalleled IPL economy rate of 6.22 aside, Rashid has managed to pick 18 wickets this season at an average of 14.66 with ER reading 5.07. It is an astonishing achievement - something that has made his former coach Tom Moody extremely proud.
“Firstly, forget about his bowling as such, (it is) his character. He is an enormously gifted character that loves the contest. He is a real fighter. And when he was selected out of the (2017) auction, that was probably something that wasn't known. What was known was what we're seeing quite regularly every time we watch him bowl - and that is his genius with the ball, his ability to spin the ball sharply, more so into the right-hander and away from the left-hander, but also generate that great deal of pace off the wicket, which is his greatest asset,” Moody told ESPN Cricinfo.
Last year, the story was contrastingly different, with Rashid’s average of 22.17 was his worst among all seasons as he could pick only 17 wickets from 15 matches. He was economical no doubt but with his wicket-taking ability going down, SRH felt the pressure. Moody, who was still at the helm of the affairs at SRH last season, stated that it became a general trend among all the teams to keep Rashid at bay by playing him out cautiously.
“Last year, and I think around the world, a lot of people have decided against attacking Rashid Khan, "let's just preserve wickets and accept that his four overs are going to go for 24, and on a good day, we might get 30 off him". So they've taken that strategy. So they've really taken away the ability for him to take wickets with batsmen looking to be positive against him.
“One of the reasons he probably is having more wicket-taking success this year is that batsmen when they've come across Sunrisers, have found that there's been a little bit more pressure at both ends. So, therefore, they can't just sit on Rashid when they are not scoring as freely as they'd like at the other end. So what they've had to do is take a little bit more risk against him. He is obviously a year older and a year smarter. He's come into this tournament, having played a full Caribbean Premier League. So he's got a lot of overs under his belt. So he's ready and prepared,” Moody added.