Shakib’s IPL swing
With Pakistan’s tour of Bangladesh done and dusted, Shakib Al Hasan will join Kolkata Knight Riders for their last two games against Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals as well as the crucial knockout phase of the multi-million dollar T20 tournament.
With his penetrative bowling and explosive batting, Shakib is the versatile cog in KKR’s wheel, something Shah Rukh Khan’s team missed during the majority of this year’s IPL season.
No wonder Shakib was highly sought out particularly in the IPL 7 auction, going for Rs. 2.8 crores to Kolkata Knight Riders after Delhi Daredevils kept on bidding on the Bangladeshi allrounder considering his all-round skills.
Shakib joined the KKR ranks in 2011 and has played 30 matches in his IPL career. Bangladesh’s top allrounder has scored 347 runs in IPL at an average of 21.68 with a strike-rate of 139.35. His highest score of 60 came against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014.
With his left-arm spin, Shakib has captured 36 wickets in 30 matches at an average of 21.36. His economy rate of 6.89 is quite impressive considering batsmen going hammer and tongs in T20 matches. Shakib’s best bowling figures came in 2012 when he took three wickets for 17 runs in four overs.
KKR have peaked at the right time in this year’s IPL and look good to go the distance. With Shakib, KKR’s batting line-up becomes stronger and at the same time captain Gautam Gambhir will have a dependable weapon in his bowling armory.
Kolkata Knight Riders are now second in the points table behind Chennai Super Kings, and have ensured a place in the play-offs which will begin from May 19.
KKR will face Mumbai Indians on May 14 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai and Rajasthan Royals on May 16 at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium before the knock-out phase of IPL 2015.