Shahbaz Ahmed lending calmness amid the mayhem of DK's blitzkrieg
Mumbai, April 18 (IANS) Dinesh Karthik might be turning around the fortunes of his team Royal Challengers Bangalore in the ongoing edition of the IPL, but another utility player, Shahbaz Ahmed has been going about his task in a calm and efficient manner, though his exploits have got masked by the brilliance of his senior team-mate.
Shahbaz has come out to bat four times and on all four occasions he has made a huge impact on the game, the latest being the 16-run win against Delhi Capitals on April 16.
Shahbaz came at a time when RCB really needed a good partnership to bail them out. He smashed an unbeaten 21-ball 32, and along with Karthik (66 n.o. off 34) ensured the game was put beyond Delhi Capitals' reach.
RCB's director of cricket operations, Mike Hesson said on Monday that Shahbaz had a calming influence on the field and inside the dressing room.
"He's just a calming influence. He's only really in his first full season playing, but he's gone out there and looks a senior pro in terms of being able to manoeuvre the ball, gets an early boundary away just to release the pressure, puts the field back off and then he can feed the strike to the guys hitting. We know he's got power, so at the back end, he chooses the right time to do it. He's a really calm character for someone who hasn't played too many games," said Hesson.
In the last couple of games, Shahbaz has had to take up the burden of fulfilling the quota of the fifth bowler with his slow left-arm deliveries along with Glenn Maxwell.
While his first over went for 15 runs, bowling in the powerplay to DC's David Warner, who was in sublime form, Shahbaz came back to bowl a tight second over, conceding just four singles.
Talking about his bowling ability, Hesson said, "With the ball I think he was exceptional. Obviously bowling with such a short boundary, to be able to block off parts of the park, really influential performance."