Afghanistan’s teenage spin sensation Mujeeb Ur Rahman has revealed that his Kings XI Punjab captain and India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin taught him a new delivery during the IPL season. Speaking to Firstpost, Mujeeb, who picked up 14 wickets in 11 games at an economy of 6.99 during the IPL, described Ashwin as a mentor.

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“Ashwin told me ‘You’re bowling very well. You’re going quite well.’ (He) Told me the areas where to bowl, which a captain normally does,” he said.

“He also taught me a new delivery, one that he told me would come in handy on the long run. So I’ve been working on that ball after the IPL. He told me it might hurt my fingers a bit and might take a while for me to adjust. Ashwin was like a mentor.” Mujeeb added.

The 17-year-old added that performing in the IPL has added to his confidence and he has now set his eyes on Afghanistan’s historic Test debut. Mujeeb, in fact, is yet to play a First-Class match.

“I had already done my preparations for the historic Test at Bengaluru during the IPL,” he said. “Because I had the confidence of my name appearing in the Test squad. I adjusted myself to the wickets, and other than that, I will continue to learn from seniors Rashid (Khan) and (Mohammad) Nabi. I prepared my mindset for the Test match, because I had been thinking of the Test during the IPL, and had practised for four days at Bengaluru.”

The M.Chinnaswamy stadium will also hold good memories for the tweaker as it was the same place where he dismissed Virat Kohli – beating him all ends up with a googly. Mujeeb singled that out as his dream wicket during the tournament and he will now be hoping to add more over the course of the next five days.


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