Rajasthan's newest addition Shamsi offers salvation via spin for their ailing state

Shamsi was not selected in the IPL auction in February, but he has been signed as a replacement player by Rajasthan Royals, and even though the roster is well stacked with spinners, he appears to be optimistic about his chances of playing time, considering the year he has had. Shamsi is now the leading T20I bowler in 2021 and has established himself as South Africa’s first-choice short-format spinner after spending the majority of his career on the sidelines.

The fact that Rajasthan Royals now have the world’s No. 1 T20I bowler is a psychological boost, but Shamsi’s addition might help solve one of the team’s major problems. Royals’ pacemen have been among the best in the league, but their spinners have only taken three wickets in seven games. They have an economy of 10.4 and average 101 runs per wicket. They have only deployed two spinners – Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia – in the absence of injured Shreyas Gopal, who have struggled without the support of a wicket-taking spinner.

Shamsi’s arrival will not alleviate the Royals’ problems in the Powerplay, where they have conceded fewer shots but have struggled to score early. In the past, the left-armer has rarely bowled with fielding restrictions since he prefers lofted strokes and slog sweeps with a catcher close to the boundary. If the Royals choose to spin in the first few overs, they’ll need someone to fill in for Shamsi in the middle.

Working with players like Shreyas Gopal, Riyan Parag, Mayank Markande, or K.C. Cariappa, who has never played in the UAE before, will be a new challenge for the South African. On the other hand, he’ll have four other spinners with whom he can compare notes and improve his understanding of spin on the subcontinent.