Shamsi hopes to bowl Rajasthan Royals to IPL victory

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on September 17, 2021
South Africa's Tabraiz Shamsi celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka during the second T20I in Colombo on September 12. (AFP)

The Johannesburg-based spinner is delighted to be part of the Royals family

South African spinner Tabraiz Shamsi has enjoyed a meteoric rise on the back of his outstanding performances in the last couple of years. Such has been his dominance that Shamsi is now the world’s number one T20I bowler in ICC rankings.

The 31-year-old left-arm spinner has joined the Rajasthan Royals for the remainder of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season and reckons his team can challenge for the trophy.

The Royals were in the fifth position when the league was suspended in May due to a deadly second wave of the pandemic.

“I think whether the team is at the first spot or the fifth, the position at the halfway mark doesn’t really count,” said Shamsi, who is currently in quarantine having arrived from Sri Lanka earlier this week.

“It’s what you do in the second half that matters. So, I think we’re in a good position right now and we’ve got half a tournament to play, so it depends on how we play the rest of the games. The mood in the camp looks really nice so I don’t see any reason why we can’t go on to win the competition.”

The Johannesburg-based spinner is delighted to be part of the Royals family.

“I’m really looking forward to the experience with a new team. What’s really, really exciting is just the vibe that I’ve picked up, from not just the players but also the management,” he said.

“The overall feeling in the Rajasthan camp is amazing – I’ve played for a few teams around the world, but I haven’t experienced something like this before.

“I’m generally someone who tries to bring a very positive vibe to the team environment – whether it’s speaking to other bowlers, players, or just cracking a joke or two in the changing room to lighten up the mood. I’m a big believer in a happy team is a team that performs better.

“So that is something I try to do with my national team as well, and I will try to bring that here as well,” added Shamsi, who taken has 40 wickets in 30 ODIs and 49 wickets in 42 T20Is for South Africa.

Shamsi, who played a key role in South Africa’s emphatic 3-0 win over Sri Lanka in the recent T20I series, is now gearing up to face some of the world’s best batsmen at the IPL in UAE.

“The conditions in UAE and the short boundaries in Sharjah, I think it is a challenge. But it also means that you have an opportunity to get wickets,” he said.

“Sometimes on grounds like that, a spell which goes for 35-40 runs can be a match-winning spell, whereas, in other games, a spell of 3 or 4 wickets can change a game. So, I think it’s not just about taking wickets.”

A big fan of Rajasthan Royals’ legend Shane Warne, Shamsi revealed what he learnt from the former Australian spinner.

“Shane was, of course, a legendary leg spinner, and he was always a go-to man for any spinner. From him, I have learnt to keep things simple and to be able to remember that we’re all different and that cricket becomes as complicated as you make it in your head,” he said.

The left-arm spinner also had a message for the Royals’ fans.

“They should be ready to celebrate a trophy win - that’s our goal and that’s not going to change. We are definitely going to try our best to bring the trophy back to the Royals!”

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