IPL - Tabraiz Shamsi
Tabraiz Shamsi, the South African wrist spinner, feels the idea of a good spell in T20s has changed over the years. Image Credit: Twitter

Kolkata: Tabraiz Shamsi, the No.1 ranked T20 bowler from South Africa who will be turning out for Rajasthan Royals in the UAE leg of the IPL, feels that his team is very much in with a chance to make it to the play-offs.

A Chinaman bowler, Shamsi who has arrived in Dubai after the Sri Lanka series and now in quarantine, felt it’s the performance in the second half of a long competition like the IPL which matters.

“I think whether the team is at the first spot or the fifth, the position at the halfway mark doesn’t really count. 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,” he said.


Speaking to Royals media team, the Johannesburg-based spinner added that he aims to add to the Royals’ team environment. “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. 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.”

Shamsi, who has 40 wickets from 30 ODIs and 49 wickets in 42 T20Is for South Africa, said he had often expected to be drafted in IPL but came to terms with the rejection. “In the past when I was younger, it (not getting picked) did affect me a little bit. But as you grow older, you realize there are bigger things in life. 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 like Rajasthan has and I‘m going to try my best to make sure that we win the competition.”

Learning on the go

Acknowledging that he has been following the Royals for a few seasons, Shamsi added that he likes to learn more about what other players do. “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. And obviously Chris Morris and David Miller have been with Royals for quite a bit, so I’ve always ended up watching a game or two whenever my schedule has permitted,” the South African said.

Adding that he’s excited about bowling against some of the best batsmen in the world, Shamsi said that the definition of a good spell has evolved. “With reference to the conditions in UAE and the shorter boundaries in Sharjah, I think it is a challenge but it also means that you have an opportunity to get wickets. 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 three or four wickets can change a game. So, I think it’s not just about taking wickets,” said Shamsi, who had picked up three wickets in four IPL matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2016.