Moody: 'Rashid at his best when he is facing ten or less balls'
Rashid's former coach at Sunrisers says players like him are "always involved in the game at the hottest point"
Want to get the best out of Rashid Khan, the batter? Don't let him face more than 10 balls, says Tom Moody, who was with Rashid's former team Sunrisers Hyderabad in different capacities from 2013 to 2022 (except 2020), including Rashid's IPL debut in 2017.
Moody's observation came after Gujarat Titans' last-over win against Chennai Super Kings in the opening IPL game, in which Titans needed 23 to win from the last 12 balls. Rashid turned that around by smashing a six followed by a four off Deepak Chahar to bring it down to eight needed from six, which Rahul Tewatia scored with more boundaries in the last over. Rashid's impact? Ten off three with a strike rate of 333.33, after he had already claimed 2 for 26, including the big wickets of Mooen Ali and Ben Stokes.
"The reality is that he is at his best when he is facing ten or less balls," Moody said on ESPNcricinfo's T20 Time:Out show. "That's when he is the greatest threat. But if he's suddenly coming in the tenth over, it can be a totally different situation for him to unpack, so he's really really dangerous from the seventeenth over onwards."
"Players like Rashid Khan are always involved in the game at the hottest point. The first moment he entered the game was in the powerplay when the game was running away from them. He bowled an over, he took a wicket.
"So again, critical time, put in the hotspot, he does the job."
"End of the game, into the hotspot with a different skillset with bat in hand, not ball in hand and does what Rashid's doing more increasingly and that is finding a way to hit a six, hit a four and suddenly when it is getting a little bit tight and everyone's tense on the bench, he's quickly turned it on its head within two or three balls."
Rashid was Titan's most economical bowler on the night and dismissed Stokes for the fourth time in T20s, in 25 balls while conceding just 21 runs. Moeen, on the other hand, was Rashid's first powerplay wicket in the IPL since 2021. He had bowled six wicketless overs in the powerplay last season.
"He [Rashid] is such a valuable player because he is a genuine matchwinner that does impact at critical times," Moody said.