The 'other' Rawalpindi Express
5 May 2008
JAIPUR: He comes from the same city as Shoaib Akhtar, but then Sohail Tanvir is not as flamboyant as his fellow fast bowler. When it came to the IPL auctions, Tanvir was 'bought' by Team Jaipur for less than a third of what Kolkata Knight Riders spent on the Rawalpindi Express.
However, at almost the half-way stage of the IPL, this lanky, soft-spoken left-armer has already created waves. Akhtar has yet to make an appearance.
There's one more thing that binds these two pacers. Tanvir walked in to replace Akhtar in the Pakistan T20 World Cup squad after the latter was thrown out for striking teammate Mohammad Asif with a bat.
Tanvir proved that T20 is not just a batsman's game when he shattered the famed Team Chennai batting line-up here on Sunday to wrest a remarkably easy win for his side. Tanvir, like Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson, had been picked up in the second round of auctions, and that too at a relatively low price of $100,000.
"It has been a team effort and it is good that we are winning our matches," Tanvir said in halting English, after his figures of 6/14 left the cricket world stunned on Sunday. An economy rate of 3.50 is something unheard of in T20. In fact, Tanvir had just conceded two runs in his first three overs, before giving away 12 in the last.
"He was fantastic," skipper Shane Warne said after the match. Warne, in fact, has always believed that Tanvir had a special role to play for Team Jaipur in the IPL.
Even then, there were doubts when Englishman Dimitri Mascarenhas walked in just before the match against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 1.
"It gives us another option," Warne had said. What he didn't say was that if Mascarenhas was to play, Tanvir would be have to sit out. "Tanvir is important for our attack," Warne had added in the same breath. Tanvir did play against Kolkata and returned a good second spell.