IPL 2024: Arshad Khan could be a real handful and a very good all-round cricketer, says Justin Langer by Niharika Raina

New Delhi, May 15 When Delhi Capitals reduced Lucknow Super Giants to 134/7 in the 15th over, it looked like an early end was in sight at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. But left-arm fast-bowling all-rounder Arshad Khan threatened to take the game away with an unbeaten 58 off 33 deliveries and attempting to script an improbable chase of 209 for LSG.

It was also Arshad’s maiden T20 fifty, and made him the seventh batter to hit a fifty batting lower in the tournament, though it didn’t prevent LSG from a 19-run defeat, leaving their IPL 2024 playoffs hopes hanging by a very slim margin.

LSG head coach Justin Langer feels Arshad, who took out Jake Fraser-McGurk for a two-ball duck, apart from hitting five sixes and three boundaries with the bat, can become a very good all-rounder if he manages to stay consistent in his performances.

"Arshad is a very, very good cricketer. He swung the ball early, is a good fielder and to be able to bat like that, he’s a very good package. Watching all through this tournament, he’s got huge potential and showed some of that tonight. When he becomes more consistent, particularly with his bowling, he could be a real handful and a very good all-round cricketer," said Langer in the post-match press conference.

He was also left in awe of Tristan Stubbs scripting another finishing act for DC through an unbeaten 57 off 25 deliveries and even took an important wicket of Ayush Badoni. "My Gosh, Stubbs is a very, very good cricketer. I have been seeing the power-plays and also the way some of these teams have been finishing the games. Tristan Stubbs is an outstanding cricketer and we saw it again here.

"We got in (Deepak) Hooda when the two left-handers were in and he got a wicket for us two games ago. He didn’t get one in this game, whereas Stubbs did. If we had batted a little bit more intelligently, 209 was a very chaseable score on this wicket. But Stubbs taking a wicket (of Badoni) was not ideal for us."

LSG can reach 14 points if they win their last league game against Mumbai Indians on Friday. But their net run rate of -0.787 could turn out to be the factor which leads to them missing the bus for the playoffs. Langer was also forthcoming on his views over match-ups in IPL 2024.

"There’s so much data these days – so when you do your analysis leading into every game, what happens traditionally is, left-handers don’t have much impact on the game against off-spin when the ball is spinning way.

"Bishi (Ravi Bishnoi) bowled beautifully with the ball spinning away, and when the ball is spinning back in, it tends to be more in the arc to hit these sixes. Generally, the ball spinning away against the batters is the way teams tend to match-up.

"You look at a match-up, but often when a wicket falls quickly. Then you look to get an off-spinner on because not many players come and hit from the start. Its when the captain often uses it and the truth is, there are not too many R Ashwin or Nathan Lyon like-bowlers in the world. It’s a specialist role, but there are many left-arm spinners and not too many great off-spin bowlers, which is why part-timers are used, he said.

Langer signed off by stating he was curious to see if batters can play "ultra-aggressive" cricket in the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup, to be held in the West Indies and the USA from June 1, especially with IPL 2024 producing towering scores.

"The Lucknow wicket was the best wicket we could get in the competition – there’s been a real contest between bat and ball, whereas a lot of the games in the tournament have been very one-sided towards the bat. We haven’t capitalised in our power-plays like some other teams have.

"But we haven’t played much on pitches like Lucknow, where the games have been more competitive and it probably brings that (power-play run-rate) down. But its been absolutely amazing to see some of these power-plays – it has almost transformed the game. Whether people can continue to do this or during the World Cup, time will tell. But its certainly been ultra aggressive cricket in power-plays."

Source: IANS
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