The Chinnaswamy Stadium has a special significance for Azhar Mahmood, and the all-rounder seems to give off his best at the venue.
The former Pakistan player, now a British national, was the architect of Kings XI Punjab’s amazing victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday. Mahmood’s miserly spell earned him three wickets and the Man-of-the-Match award, his second at the stadium.
The first one came 13 years back, in April 1999, when he led Pakistan to victory over India in a Cup final. Even then, it was his bowling that had wreaked havoc — he had returned a five-wicket haul.
On Wednesday, the 37-year-old tweeted about the triumph over the Royal Challengers. “It’s a great feeling playing on this ground, last time I played here was for Pakistan and was MoM for Pak then alhumdulilah #greatmemories.”
KXIP stand-in skipper David Hussey said the inclusion of Mahmood had brought a lot of “knowledge to the table”. “What people don’t notice is the amount he contributes behind the scenes. He brings a lot of international experience.”
And, the local bowlers are the biggest beneficiaries of Mahmood’s cricketing wisdom. “He teaches the young Indian bowlers how to bowl different balls and how to handle different situations,” explained Hussey.
“The all-round skills that Mahmood brings in are incredible. He showed what he can do with the bat in the first few games, and has shown how good he is with the ball in the last few games,” said Hussey.