Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has opined that Mohammad Nabi would have got to play all the matches in the IPL had he been a part of any franchise apart from Sunrisers Hyderabad. He made this observation during an interaction on Star Sports.
On being asked about the excellent performances that Mohammad Nabi dished out in the recently concluded CPL, Gautam Gambhir called him the most underrated player in T20 cricket considering his all-round contributions. He added that the former Afghanistan captain is not talked about in the same breath as Kieron Pollard, AB de Villiers, Rashid Khan or David Warner.
"According to me, he is the most underrated player in T20 cricket. You talk about Kieron Pollard, AB de Villiers, Rashid Khan or David Warner but if you see his contribution, he is a brilliant fielder, gives you four overs with the ball, bowls in the first 6 overs, bats at No.5 or No.6 and can play the big shots."
The former left-handed opener observed that Mohammad Nabi is not too far behind Andre Russell with his impact as an all-rounder. Gambhir said that he is underrated mainly because he comes from Afghanistan, which is a relatively smaller cricketing nation.
"We talk about Andre Russell as a quality all-rounder but Mohammad Nabi probably may not be in that category but he is not that far behind. Because he comes from Afghanistan, who do not play that much cricket, so people do not rate him that much."
Gautam Gambhir on the limited opportunities given to Mohammad Nabi in the IPL
Gautam Gambhir mentioned that Mohammad Nabi does not get the opportunities he deserves in the IPL, since he is a part of a Sunrisers Hyderabad team which has four other prominent overseas players in David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Rashid Khan and Kane Williamson.
"He is also in a franchise where you play David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Rashid Khan and Kane Williamson, so he does not get that many opportunities."
The former KKR captain opined that if Mohammad Nabi had been in any other IPL franchise, he would have been a regular member of the playing XI.
"If Mohammad Nabi was in some other franchise, he would have played all the 14 matches in the IPL. And if you play him in all the 14 matches of the IPL, you will come to know his impact."
Gautam Gambhir signed off by reminding everyone that the former Afghanistan captain showcased his prowess as an all-rounder in the limited opportunities he got in IPL 2019.
"We had seen in the last IPL as well how he made an impact with the new ball and then later as a batsman, brilliant fielder. So, for me probably one of the most underrated T20 cricketers at the moment in world cricket."
Mohammad Nabi had played eight matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad in last season's IPL. The off-spinner picked up 8 wickets in those matches, at a decent average of 24.25 along with an exceptional economy rate of 6.65.
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Although he did not get too many chances with the bat, he showcased his ball-striking ability by scoring his 115 runs at an excellent strike rate of 151.31.
Published 12 Sep 2020, 15:43 IST