Washington Sundar, Mithun Manhas laud Afghan leggie Mujeeb-ur-Rahman
Bangalore: Royal Challengers Bangalore all-rounder Washington Sundar and Kings XI Punjab assistant coach Mithun Manhas showered praise on young Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman for his impressive bowling, which fetched him the wicket of Virat Kohli.
“It is not that easy to read him or pick him from his finger but as we play a lot of games against him, everyone will be ok against him,” Sundar told reporters at the post-match press conference in Bengaluru on Friday night.
The Tamil Nadu spinner lauded Mujeeb for having many variations such as googlies, off-spinners and carom balls.
“I think it is pretty amazing, to be honest. To be able to bowl with a lot of variations at this age, you need to give a lot of credit to him,” he added.
Manhas also spoke about Mujeeb’s early success. “He’s been bowling pretty well considering that he’s just 16-17, and he’s bowling in the power play against one of the best batsmen in the world,” he said.
Sundar added, “He got hit in just one over (by de Villiers), but I think he had good figures. So, I think he’s been excellent for us,” he said.
Replying to a query, Sundar said captain Kohli can open the innings if the team wants, but for now the Brendon McCullum-Quinton de Kock pair is going to continue.
“We have a very good opening pair in de Kock and Brendon. They can change the game in the first six overs. Yeah, Virat Bhai can play anywhere. He can definitely open the innings if it is needed by the team,” he said.
On his dismal bowling performance in the last match against Kolkata Knight Riders, Sundar said it was a different challenge to bowl after 10 overs.
“As a spinner, you need to be open to bowling in different scenarios. Our fast bowlers bowled a lot in the first six overs especially and I had to bowl after 10 overs. It was a different challenge and the way I bowled, I was pretty happy about it,” he said.
On his performance in this match, Sundar said he bagged two wickets because he did not do too many things.
“They were in a pretty good position when I came to bowl. I wanted to keep things simple and keep things tight. I didn’t want to really try too many things. The ground is also pretty small and I wanted to keep hitting the deck and keep things tight; I ended up getting two wickets,” he said.
Talking about the Chinnaswamy pitch, Sundar said it was unlike last year when it was sluggish and unresponsive for strokeplay.
“We bowled very well to reduce them by 10-15 runs. I don’t think it was like last year. Bowlers were also able to get some purchase, and it was good for batting as well,” he said.
“The wicket was good, it was a 165-170 wicket. We bowled well. Umesh’s second over was pretty crucial for us,” he said.
Manhas said but for Umesh Yadav’s three wickets in an over, his team would have probably scored 10 to 15 runs more.
“Those three wickets (Agarwal, Aaron Finch first ball and Yuvraj Singh) by Umesh set us back. You know, we were on the back foot. We should have probably played those 20 overs out, then probably situation would have been different,” he said.
On Yuvraj Singh’s poor performance, Manhas said he has been doing pretty well in practice games, and it only takes one good knock for him to bounce back.
Yuvraj has just scored 12 and 4 in the first two matches.
“He was doing pretty well in the practice games. He scored a 100 and a 70 in those two matches. It’s just been two games (in the tournament). You know how T20 goes, one good knock and you’ll be the one saying you know he’s looking too good,” he said.