Virender Sehwag believes that Afghanistan batsman Najibullah Zadran is very close to getting IPL contract, following his brilliance at the T20 World Cup 2021. Zadran scored an explosive 73 off 48 against New Zealand on Sunday, was the lone batting star in his team's first innings effort of 124/8.
Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi won the toss and elected to bat first in his side's must-win Super 12s fixture against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. However, the team soon slumped to 19/3 in just the sixth over.
Najibullah Zadran, who walked in at five, stood strong, and added crucial partnerships with Gulbadin Naib (15) and Nabi (14) to help his team cross the 100-run mark. His 48-ball 73 included six fours and three sixes. He was dismissed with 10 balls remaining in the innings, and Afghanistan could just manage nine runs thereafter to finish 124/8, which was chased down by the Blackcaps with eight wickets and 11 balls to spare.
Virender Sehwag was highly impressed with the 28-year-old, and felt that an IPL contract could be round the corner.
“I have played alongside him in T10 League so I was expecting such a knock from him. He is brilliant against both pace and spin and I feel an IPL contract is just around the corner for him,” Sehwag was quoted as saying on Cricbuzz Live.
Sehwag further added that Najib’s innings felt like he was batting on a different pitch compared to his mates.
“It looked like he (Najibullah Zadran) was batting on a completely different track compared to other Afghanistan batters. He cashed in brilliantly against the spin duo of Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner. Even in Neesham’s first over, he smashed a couple of boundaries, he said.
Zadran aggregated 172 runs from five matches at 34.40 and a strike-rate of 135.43 in the tournament. He has the experience of playing in various T20 leagues around the world. Earlier this year, he also played for the Karachi Kings in the 2021 Pakistan Super League. He has also plied his trade in the CPL, the Global T20 Canada, the T10 League and Afghanistan’s domestic T20 competition. In 140 T20s, he has scored 2468 runs at an average of 27.42 with 10 fifties and a top score of 97 not out.