Afghanistan’s Sheikh of spin: Rashid Khan

Afghanistan's Rashid Khan

Afghanistan's Rashid Khan

Published Oct 18, 2022


Cape Town — Rashid Khan is the No 2 ranked T20 bowler in the world and an in-demand star in every global franchise league. Such is the Afghanistan legspinner’s skill-set that not even Virat Kohli can knock him off his stride when he said it took him three years just to pick the right-armer’s deliveries.

Dealing with them is a different matter entirely. Khan has that rare skill of being able to bowl fast and still spin the ball. He is economical and rattles through his overs quickly, leaving batters in a tail-spin. And that is before he even brings out the googly, a delivery which has disarmed even the most dangerous of hitters.

Kohli knows that only all too well, with the pair having come up against each other in both the IPL and international arenas over the years. But if he thought his remarks would shake Khan into a panic and fear his secrets had finally being unravelled, he was left disappointed. “It gives you so much confidence and energy when someone like him is speaking about you like that,” Khan said.

“It is a big statement and that will help me a lot “I have something in my mind when I face every batter, so that helps me. I have plans for certain batters.”

How Khan handles the intense heat of the T20 World Cup will be fascinating – especially in Australia, where the importance of pace traditionally outweighs spin.

But Khan already knows what is required. He has already played in Australia for a number of seasons now for the Adelaide Strikers, helping the south Australian team to their first-ever Big Bash League title in 2018.

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“A good ball is a good ball and that is all that matters. It is up to the batter to understand what you are doing, but it’s up to me to make sure what he is facing is good,” added Khan, who has taken 118 T20 international wickets at a strike-rate of 13.6.

“Good deliveries are good for everyone. I am responsible for putting a batter in trouble. It will be hard for the spinners. But if you approach with that mentality then you will struggle.

“You have to think anyone can turn it and anyone can get wickets. I am just thinking about taking wickets and using the experience I have from around the world. The wickets should be flat, but for me the important thing will be adjusting to that and bowling the right lines and lengths.”


IOL Sport

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