Teams Played For
New Zealand U19, New Zealand A, New Zealand, Northern Knights, Adelaide Strikers, Nottinghamshire, New Zealand XI, Rajasthan Royals, Jamaica Tallawahs, Brampton Wolves
Most of the leg spinners in world cricket bowl with flair and guile and the Kiwis leggie Ish Sodhi is definitely one among them. Despite making his international debut way back in 2013 in a Test match against Bangladesh, Sodhi is yet to find his feet in international cricket, more so in the longest format. Tipped as a Test material at the early part of his career, it was only two years after his Test debut that Sodhi got an opportunity to play in limited-overs cricket.
His transition to top level cricket was pretty rapid, to be honest. He had just finished his maiden first-class season when Sodhi got a call-up to the New Zealand Test team and a lot was expected of him. However, he couldn’t quite prove his mettle on a consistent basis which is often the case with spinners outside the subcontinent. The pitches in New Zealand hardly offer any assistance to the spinners and his inability to bowl the correct line and lengths for a consistent period even in subcontinental conditions was pretty visible.
Sodhi remained in the fray for Test selection till 2014 but on the back of some poor performances, he was ousted from the squad, and pretty soon the selectors realized that he was better suited for the shorter formats. After making his limited-overs debut in 2015, Sodhi settled into the white ball unit pretty early. Despite missing a few games here and there, Sodhi has become an integral part of the New Zealand white-ball set-up. He has played the odd Test in between but has never really managed to make a mark.
As his name suggests, Sodhi is an Indian by origin and was born in Ludhiana, in the Indian state of Punjab. He began his cricket in South Auckland and went to a school which was not known for its cricket. Sodhi took a considerable amount of time in establishing himself in regional representative teams especially due to the fact that the Auckland pitches had hardly anything on offer for the spinners. In an era where wrist spinners have become the go-to bowlers for any captain, Sodhi is definitely a valuable player to have for the Kiwis but with several other spinners coming up the ranks especially Todd Astle, it won’t be easy for Sodhi to keep his place in the national side. However, the good thing is Sodhi is just 28 years old and has quite a few years up his sleeve to prove his potential.
Sodhi was offered an IPL contract by the Rajasthan Royals in 2018 as they had a pretty mediocre spin department. His wicket-taking abilities in the white-ball formats made the franchises take notice of him. He came up with some impressive performances for the Royals but has only been part of the XI on a handful of occasions. It remains to be seen how his career shapes up in the coming few years.