The VIVO Indian Premier League is no stranger to handing some of the most talented youngsters of the world a platform to showcase their mettle and impress on the big stage. Fans witnessed this yet again when Kings XI Punjab handed a debut to the mystery spinner from Afghanistan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who became the youngest player ever to play in the league at 17 years and 11 days when he took the field against Delhi Daredevils.
Youngest players in IPL:— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) April 8, 2018
17y 11d - Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 2018
17y 177d - Sarfaraz Khan, 2015
17y 179d - Pradeep Sangwan, 2008
17y 199d - Washington Sundar, 2017
17y 247d - Rahul Chahar
17y 268d - Ishan Kishan#KXIPvDD #IPL2018
Like he does for his national team so often, Mujeeb bowled a couple of overs in the powerplay, with the field restrictions in play, and he did his job to a tee. Off just his third ball in IPL, he managed to fox Colin Munro – a batsman who has been in the form of his life in the shorter format – to catch him plumb early on.
With Gautam Gambhir going well in the middle overs and Rishabh Pant just starting to flex his arms for some big hits, it was Mujeeb who stepped up to the plate once again, getting Pant to sky one straight to Andrew Tye who took a stunning catch.
If that wasn’t enough, he also showed his athleticism and inflicted a run-out to send the well-set Daredevils skipper, Gambhir packing. He bowled 9 dot balls in the innings, the most by any KXIP bowler, two more than Andrew Tye who bowled 7 in his spell. And after captain Ravichandran Ashwin, he was the most economical bowler for his side.
Finishing with figures of 4-0-28-2 in the match, Mujeeb showed the full range of his variety in bowling, including the carrom ball, which he perfected while watching Ashwin bowl it on YouTube. To now play under the tutelage of his idol must have been a magnificent experience for him, and one that will only help him grow.
Another young spinner from Afghanistan. Again impressive on a big stage. #MujeebZadran— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 8, 2018
Another product of the assembly line of talented players hailing from Afghanistan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman has already caught the eye of onlookers with his debut performance, and it will be exciting to see what else he has up his sleeve.