Mumbai: Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, who is bowling coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad, on Tuesday lavished praise on rookie Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan terming him a “special talent”.
Rashid has already taken five wickets in two matches including 3/19 against Gujarat Lions in the second game.
“I have seen (Rashid) only for a couple of days. We choose him because we saw him playing international cricket and bowling well against quality batsmen,” Muralitharan said on the eve of Sunrisers’ third game against Mumbai Indians.
The highest wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs observed the teenager’s ability to bowl quicker through the air.
“We thought he (Rashid) is something special and different than other leg spinners, because he bowled a little bit quicker than the others and he has variations,” Murali said.
“He has played his part in the first two matches and done well for us. It is a good sign and we thought he will do well and he is fulfilling our expectations,” the legendary spinner, who scalped 800 Test wickets, said.
Asked about the dearth of Sri Lankan spinners in IPL, Murali rued that once they start producing quality tweakers, they will be picked up by IPL franchises.
“Obviously, we don’t have talent back home (in Sri Lanka). So actually, we are lacking (good players). We had great teams, great players but they all retired. New guys are coming up but until they perform, franchises won’t pick them,” Murali said.
The spin wizard also lauded IPL saying it has helped Indian cricket.
For Murali, the private leagues like Natwest T20 Blast, Ram Slam T20 or Big Bash won’t be big hits outside their regions unless top Indian players are allowed by BCCI to participate in these tournaments.
While the Sri Lankan legend was all praise for Ravichandran Ashwin’s form during India’s home Test season, he would ideally like to judge him once the burly Tamil Nadu lad hits the road outside the subcontinent, he said.