Tabraiz Shamsi, the world’s No. 1 men’s T20I bowler right now, is a replacement recruit at Rajasthan Royals for IPL 2021, and though his team is in the fifth spot on the table, he wants to bring the change in momentum and expects the “very positive vibe” he plays with to energize his team-mates as well.
“I think whether the team is at the first spot or the fifth, the position at the halfway mark doesn’t really count,” he said in the team’s media release. “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. “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.”
For Shamsi, 31, this is a second time appearing at the IPL, after a rather modest four games – three wickets, economy rate of 9.18 – for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2016. And he comes in with some good form in recent matches: seven wickets in six games for Oval Invincibles in the men’s Hundred and, more recently, eight wickets in three ODIs and four wickets in three T20Is for not too many in Sri Lanka.
Speaking on his past experience of IPL
“In the past when I was younger, it [not getting IPL deals] did affect me a little bit. But as you grow older, you realize there are bigger things in life,” he said. “You understand that there are certain things you can’t control, and I was certainly in that space. I feel like I just have to do my work, and if a team feels I can benefit them with my services, they would pick me as Rajasthan has, and I’m going to try my best to make sure that we win the competition.
“I’m actually somebody who likes watching all the games I can. I like to watch other players and see how they play, and try to pick up on one or two things – stuff that I can implement in my game – which other spinners are doing well, and also study the batsman a bit.