Left-arm pacer from Afghanistan, Fazalhaq Farooqi has ensued murmurs recently by impressing everyone with his pace and control during the practice sessions of the Chennai Super Kings ahead of the IPL 2021. The 20-year-old was called up by CSK as a net bowler to help the batters train against left-arm high-pace.
In one of the recent clips of a practice game amongst the CSK players, Fazalhaq Farooqi troubled the CSK batters, including skipper MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. He bowled a series of bouncers to Suresh Raina, which has been a perennial bugbear of the left-hander, to which Raina mistimed some.
Bowling to the former India skipper, the youngster changed his angle to around the wicket and hurled down yorkers, and wide yorkers – his execution of yorkers was magnificent. However, the 20-year-old missed his mark on some, delivering low full tosses, and half-volley, to which Dhoni didn’t miss hitting them for runs.
Fazalhaq Farooqi has played a solitary international game for Afghanistan; he made his T20I debut last month against Zimbabwe and returned with figures of 1/27. He has 22 wickets to his name in 12 first-class games.
Moeen Ali and Faf du Plessis also struggled against Fazalhaq Farooqi
While MS Dhoni’s and Suresh Raina’s rustiness against the youngster can be attributed to the fact that they don’t play international cricket anymore – unlike Raina, Dhoni didn’t even play the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, his last game being the league stage match in IPL 2020. However, Fazalhaq Farooqi also distressed Moeen Ali and Faf du Plessis who play at the highest level.
Ali, in fact, edged the pacer a few times and looked imbalanced playing his short balls while du Plessis was strangled with tight lines.
Recently, Josh Hazlewood pulled out of the IPL due to citing bubble fatigue issues; CSK hasn’t named the Australian’s replacement yet – while Fazalhaq Farooqi is young and inexperienced, however, the franchise could rope him in as a surprise player.
The 3-time champions begin their campaign on April 10th against Delhi Capitals in Mumbai. CSK finished 7th on the points table last year and would be hoping to get their hands on the trophy one more time, in what could be MS Dhoni’s last IPL season.