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3 IPL teams who can pick Mohammed Shahzad next year

ICC World Twenty20 India 2016:  South Africa v Afghanistan
Mohammad Shahzad
Nesara V Jagannatha

Mohammad Shahzad has been the mainstay for Afghanistan behind the wickets since their entry into active international cricket. He has always been the "Sehwag" kind of opener with his attacking batting style. However, he lacked consistency and failed to convert his blistering starts to match winning innings. As a result of this, he failed to secure T-20 leagues contracts around the globe.

He has again emerged into the limelight with his swashbuckling 116 balls, 124 runs against India in the Asia Cup 2018 Super Four encounter. Many coaches around the globe would start making notes about him. Laced with eleven boundaries and seven sixers, his innings would also suit the IPL style of cricket.

The hard-hitting ability that the Afghan opener displayed is a skill which is not replicated by many batsmen around the world. Such players often come at a premium. IPL teams will also be scouting him and potentially having him in their ranks. At least three teams could use a batsman like him:

#1 Mumbai Indians

CLT20 2012 - Highveld Lions v Mumbai Indians

One of the most successful IPL franchisees, Mumbai Indians have always fallen short of good wicket keeping batsmen. In the 2018 edition, they had to suffice with young Ishaan Kishan who manufactured a few decent performances for his team.

However, keeping in mind the entertainment factor and the lack of a genuine opening batsman who can keep wickets, Mumbai Indians might look to bid for Mohammad Shahzad in the upcoming auctions. Shahzad would also suit well to the Wankhede stadium with its shorter boundaries. Mahela Jayawardene would definitely have this in mind.

#2 Sunrisers Hyderabad

Ent

The runners-up of the 2018 edition, Sunrisers Hyderabad lacked a consistent opening partner to Shikar Dhawan without David Warner and fewer wicket keeping alternatives to the experienced Wriddhiman Saha.

Mohammad Shahzad can fulfill both these roles and could also stabilize the middle order if required. With fellow Afghanis like Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi in the side, Shahzad can be equally successful in this franchise. With Sunrisers lacking a crowd pleaser in their team, the fans would also like to have him in the squad for the upcoming season.

#3 Kings XI Punjab

Kings XI Punjab

Seventh-placed last year, the franchise from Punjab had to lay an additional burden on KL Rahul to keep the wickets. Having been their most successful batsman, KL will have to take more responsibilities in the next season. The management of the Punjab team would be looking to relieve of Rahul off his wicket-keeping duties.

This will Kings XI Punjab them look out in the market for a wicket-keeper batsman. This is where Mohammad Shahzad will fit the bill perfectly. He is a good wicketkeeper and could be an important replacement to Chris Gayle as an opener. Sehwag will look to get this sort of a player into the team. And the fans will definitely enjoy a Chris Gayle-Mohammad Shahzad partnership at the top.


Edited by Deepanshu Sharma

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