Going with clear mind is my biggest strength, focussed on dot balls against DC: Rashid

DUBAI, Oct 28: Sunrisers Hyderabad leg-spinner Rashid Khan says a clear mind is his biggest strength and he reaped the rewards for focussing on bowling more dot balls against Delhi Capitals in their IPL match here.

             Going into Tuesday’s do-or-die contest against DC, SRH registered a comfortable 88-run win to stay alive in the race for the play-offs. Rashid returned with incredible figures of 4-0-7-3 to make a significant contribution in Sunrisers’ win.

             “I just go with a clear mind, that’s my biggest strength. I want to bowl a good line and length, no matter the situation. You have to mix up and play with the batsman’s mind, and see the weak zone and strong zone…So I keep those things in mind,” Rashid said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

             The Afghan bowled 17 dot balls in his four-over quota.

             “Winning the game was the most important. The wicket was helping a lot. What I’m mainly focusing on is to bowl economically, whether I get wickets or not. Dot balls help me to get wickets and it also helps the other end to get wickets,” he said.

             Sent in to bat, skipper David Warner (66 off 34) and Wriddhiman Saha (87 off 45) provided SRH with a scintillating start as they amassed 77 in the powerplay, the most by any team in this IPL.

             “I think Warner has done a good job for us so far in this whole tournament, it is all about the requirement of the game, sometimes you have to be aggressive, sometimes you have to be defending.

             “He has been focussing on what the team needs. He is capable of these brilliant innings, it is good to see him dominate the bowlers today,” Rashid said at the press-conference.

             On Saha’s superb knock, Rashid said: “We have already seen he has a few hundreds in the IPL, we know how good a hitter he is. I think when he got an opportunity today, he grabbed with both hands and delivered.

             “He had that self belief, he realised that he can play a long innings for the team. It was his responsibility to give good start to the team.”

             Asked how the team is thinking about its play-off chances, Rashid said: “We don’t focus on what is going to happen, what the team will do with the table. We just need to focus on our game day.

             “Next we play in Sharjah, it is simple and clear, just go and give 100 per cent and express yourself, forget about qualification, because it will put extra pressure on us.”

             Sunrisers (10 points) have now moved up to sixth position with this win and captain Warner was a happy man.

             “The game before, we were disappointed with that chase. We defended in the last game, and with two world-class bowlers in (Anrich) Nortje and (Kagiso) Rabada we decided to go after it,” said the Australian.

             “I took a bit of responsibility at the top of the order…It’s tough to play orthodox cricket in these conditions, so I have to open up 360 degrees,” he said of his batting style.

             The skipper added that it was a difficult decision to leave out Jonny Bairstow and replace him with Saha but the move paid off.

             “Incredible knock from Saha though and his strike-rate in the powerplay was incredible. Unfortunately he’s got a little groin niggle but hopefully it isn’t too bad,” he added.

             Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer said he won’t be “bogged down” by the massive defeat.

             “We still have two games. One win is all we need – we’ve been waiting for that since the last three games. This loss is definitely going to motivate us. I think we lost it in the powerplay itself, when they got 70+ runs,” he said.

             “We need to have a strong and positive mindset. These losses are not going to put us down. We’ve been doing amazing before these three matches, and it shouldn’t get to our heads.”  (PTI)