Spin all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed says he’s excited by the “lifetime opportunity” to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
The 25-year-old has shone for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy and recently bagged a hat-trick against Hyderabad on the way to a six-wicket match-winning haul.
That made him the first player from Bengal to take a hat-trick in the tournament since Mohammed Shami’s in the 2012-2013 campaign.
His showing also highlighted why he was picked up by RCB at the auction for IPL 2020.
Ahmed was bought for his base price of Rs 20 lakh by an RCB side looking to win their first-ever IPL title.
They are currently priced at 8.00 (7/1) with 10Cric to win this year’s contest.
Ahmed models himself on Ravindra Jadeja
The left-arm spinner says he admires how India international star Ravindra Jadeja plays the game and hopes to emulate that for RCB if given the chance.
He said: “I really love the way Ravindra Jadeja plays for India. I just like to play like him in Bengal,” Ahmed told PTI.
He also described his RCB auction selection as a big opportunity in his life.
“I’m really excited to share the dressing room with Virat Kohli. This is a lifetime opportunity for me.
“If I get an opportunity to play in the IPL, I would just like to replicate the same there – contribute with bat and ball. It would help a lot in my career. But at the moment I’m focusing only on Ranji matches.”
On his eye-catching hat-trick for Bengal, he added: “I never planned for the hattrick. I just wanted to bowl in the right areas and repeat the same ball. I was lucky to get the hattrick. It came after a long time for Bengal.”
Ahmed singled out praise for Bengal bowling coach Utpal Chatterjee for helping him get his Ranji Trophy milestone
“The wicket was not turning much. But Sir gave a lot of confidence in the changing room. The atmosphere has changed since he has come. We get a lot of confidence now.
“He gives good ideas. he has got a lot of experience.”