When Ish Sodhi impressed Shane Warne

All-star of the match

At the time of the IPL auction in January earlier this year, New Zealand legspinner Ish Sodhi was the No. 1 ranked T20I bowler. Yet, he did not find any takers. He was later signed by Rajasthan Royals as a replacement for the injured Afghanistan left-arm spinner Zahir Khan.

After warming the bench for the first three weeks of the tournament, Sodhi dismissed his New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on his debut, with a skiddy wrong'un that kept low. He was then relegated to the bench, again, for Royal's next two matches, but on Tuesday night he had Kings XI Punjab's batsmen dancing to his tunes and Royals' mentor Shane Warne applauding from the dug-out.

When Sodhi came into the attack, right after the Powerplay, the asking rate for Kings XI was nine an over. After he bowled three consecutive overs for just eight runs and the wicket of Akshdeep Nath, the asking rate neared 11. He then returned in the 15th over and bowled short legbreaks away from the reach of an in-form KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis. All told, he bowled 13 balls to Rahul, who made an unbeaten 95, and gave away only seven runs. There would be no way back for Kings XI.

Sodhi had also nearly dismissed Rahul with his first ball: a full delivery that drifted towards leg stump and ripped past the outside edge as well as the off stump.

The wow moment

It wasn't a huge wicket or a big-turning legbreak, but Sodhi's only wicket impressed Warne. When Sodhi looped up a legbreak outside off, Nath dared to slog-sweep against the turn and ended up skewing a catch to long-off. Warne smiled and applauded his protégé.

The numbers

  • Kings XI's spinners R Ashwin and Mujeeb Zadran combined to bowl 12 dots, while Sodhi alone bowled 12.

  • Sodhi had a smart economy rate of 0.74 as opposed to a traditional economy rate of 3.50. He effectively saved 11 runs for his team.

What they said

"Sodhi is a talent, and it has been great fun working with him and trying to get into his brain."
Rajasthan Royals mentor Shane Warne