Afghanistan hard-hitting opening batsman Mohammad Shahzad voted yo-yo test with his feet after striking 74 off 16 balls in the opening match of the T10 league being played in Sharjah. Playing for Rajputs, Shahzad made a mockery of the chase scaling a target of 95 in just four overs and 17 minutes and beat Sindhis comfortably by ten wickets.
The stocky opener’s 74 is also the highest score in the T10 league which is into its second edition. He reached to his 50 off just 12 balls, breaking Eoin Morgan’s 14-ball 50 record for Kerala Kings last year.
However, soon after entertaining the fans with his enterprising innings, he had a critical look at the yo-yo test, a yardstick these days to judge the fitness of players.
“I don’t like yoyo test. Some players score 20 in this test still they can not hit a six. I do not care about yoyo test,” Shahzad revealed in the post-match talk after striking 8 sixes, a T10 record.
Many teams have made yo-yo test mandatory and even dropped players who failed to pass it. Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Yuvraj Singh, Umar Akmal, Imad Wasim, Sanju Samson are some of the notable cricketers who were axed for failing in yo-yo tests.
Shahzad was up against one of the finest T20 bowlers in the world. The first over of the innings was bowled by left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, who had the best economy rate for a spinner in PSL 2018. The second was by the T20 sensation Jofra Archer and third by the seasoned pro Thisara Perera, who conceded 30 off six balls. The last over of the chase was delivered by the leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, who few months ago finished the CPL 2018 as the leading wicket-taker.
Watching at the non-striking end was Rajputs captain and the man who himself has struck 473 sixes in T20 cricket, Brendon McCullum. Shahzad said in an interview that when he was striking those sixes, McCullum was only saying, “awesome, awesome.”
Couple of sixes hit by Shahzad was down to his wrist-power. When asked how does he do that he said, “I was doing some wrist-practice in the gym. Somebody came to me and thought I was doing it to play hockey.”
Shahzad is having a very production season in the UAE. He with 344 runs at a strike-rate of 174.61 topped the batting chart in the Afghanistan Premier League played in Sharjah last month. Prior to that he also scored 124 against India in the tied Asia Cup match in Dubai.
The batsman will be in action again on Friday when his team Rajputs take on the Shahid Afridi-led Pakhtoons in the T10 league.