Absorbing conditions, reading batsmen key to success: Mohammad Nabi
Mohammad Nabi took 2/21 and hit the winnings runs for SRH. © BCCI

Afghanistan spin-bowling allrounder Mohammad Nabi put in his second match-winning performance for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2019 to extend his unbeaten streak with the franchise.

Hyderabad have never lost a match in which Nabi has played, and in those seven outings his bowling has been pivotal to victories: nine wickets at an average of 15.22 and economy rate of 5.70. (READ: Bairstow, Nabi star as Sunrisers beat Delhi)

After taking his best IPL figures of 4/11 in Hyderabad’s 118-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier this week, Nabi on Thursday claimed 2/21 in his four overs and then hit the winning runs with 17 off nine balls as Delhi Capitals were beaten by five wickets.

The key to his successful bowling, said Nabi after the match, was to understand the conditions.

“As a bowler, I try and absorb the conditions as quickly as possible, because it’s about the conditions. If you see the last game, we got over 200. This was a different track so you have to be able to change your plans immediately,” he said. “We’ve been playing together for three years so the combinations take care of themselves. We wait for our chances and when we get them, we give 110% and that is the key to success.” (VIDEO: Sunrisers make it three in three)

At the Feroz Shah Kotla, where the pitch played slow and low, Nabi opened the bowling once again and claimed the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant. For the second game in a row, he bowled three overs inside the Powerplay and conceded 19 runs in those three. In his fourth, he had Pant mistiming a shot to long-off and conceded only two runs. (READ: When team does well, captain’s job becomes easy: Bhuvneshwar)

Asked about his ability to contain runs and take wickets, Nabi said that the reason for success was be acutely aware of the match situation.

Nabi speaks to the media at the Feroz Shah Kotla after victory.
Nabi speaks to the media at the Feroz Shah Kotla after victory. © BCCI

“The main aim is to read the batsman. It is really important to know what the batsman is thinking. If you feel the batsman is waiting to hit you, then you have to try and change your delivery and not give in to what the batsman is thinking,” he said. “Also, you have to understand the conditions. If the pitch is turning then you try to not turn the ball that much because the batsman is playing for turn. When I bowl, I don’t turn the ball much. I turn the occasional delivery.”

Having his Afghanistan team-mate Rashid Khan in Sunrisers lineup is convenient for Nabi, for the two share a good rapport as spinners.

“When Rashid and I play together, be if for Afghanistan or any team, that is when I have to help him a bit in terms of what the batsmen are thinking what types of fields to set,” said Nabi. “If you can bowl a lot of dot balls then the batsman will definitely make a mistake. If you only chase wickets, you may not get them and you may get hit. This what we discuss … the correct field positions, how to not give easy singles. Because it is not easy to score off Rashid since he is a very different type of legspinner.

“He is quick and sharp through the air, he has a good googly which is not easy to read for batsmen and thus they end up taking more time at the crease and that’s how they make mistakes against him.”