Rashid To Play His Natural Game Against India

The 19-year-old spinner from Afghanistan is having a gala time as he is continuously taking wickets match after match, like a true legend.

Cricket news: I have to be patient during the Test match, says Rashid Khan.

He is soon going to play the longer format of the game with an exotic SG red ball against the top ranked team, and he is not at all nervous about the game as he vows to keep his natural game unchanged.

He will always stick to his strengths and bowl the way he has been doing since the beginning when he will feature in the historic Test match for Afghanistan beginning from June 14 at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

“Being a Test cricketer is not a lot different to playing ODIs and T20s,” Rashid told PTI. “I have done well in whatever four-day opportunities that I have got. If I make changes in my bowling thinking about the Test, it will not be good for me. I will bowl with the same speed I have been bowling so far.”

Rashid was the star of the match against Bangladesh where he helped his team to win by 45-runs in Dehradun.

Rashid often comes to ball late for his country, mostly after 10 overs, but can pick up wickets in a flurry and gives his team big margin wins. But he knows he have to be patient during the Test match.

“I have to make sure that I don’t panic. I know there will be a phase where I won’t pick up a wicket for 20 overs. And I could pick up two in two overs. It is Test cricket.

“It is going to be a test of patience. There is a possibility that I might end up being wicket-less,” Rashid added, repeating what the Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons has been trying to do during the team practice.

Rashid was the star of the Indian Premier League, especially in the second qualifier against Kolkata Knight Riders, where his all-round performance led his team to victory.

“I never thought in my life that I would be able to achieve so much in such a short time. It is like a dream,” Rashid said. “Sachin’s tweet was unreal. I kept on thinking for hours what to reply to him. I was really happy. Virat [Kohli] also praised me a lot and [MS] Dhoni also during the course of the IPL. It lifts your confidence a lot when they compliment you.”

Afghanistan had one week between IPL and Bangladesh series and will have another week to prepare for the India Test.

“It is tough but as a professional; you have to get used to it,” Rashid said. “I have been travelling a lot in the last few years. You just have to be fit enough to play regularly and travel so much.”

Rashid’s career has been an upward trajectory since his debut in ODI and T20I against Zimbabwe in October 2015.

“Last two months, in fact last two years have been very good for me. Since I have joined the national team, I got the success that I wanted. I am very happy with that. I am enjoying the game and that is why I am doing well.”

Afghanistan had been in India for a very long time and staying away from home can be daunting. But it is Rashid’s performance that cheers his fans back at home.

“I have not gone home in a year. I miss my family and friends a lot. It also hurts a lot to hear about blasts back home. Even in the IPL when there was a blast in my hometown, I was really upset. I lost a friend in that.

“Another one of my friend had called me that day and asked why I was not my usual smiling self in the game.

“So, all these incidents do affect me a lot but I try to keep myself in the best possible frame of mind to give a good performance on the field so that the troubled people back home get something to cheer about,” Rashid said.

Afghanistan will face the best spin playing nation with their three spinners consisting of Rashid, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. But Rashid is confident of a good performance.

“We back each other. Whether it is Mohammad Nabi, who is a senior player, and [or] Mujeeb. We share whatever knowledge we have. Mujeeb has been superb and amazing so far. He has lots of skills and in future he will be able to do even better.

“We have a good pool of players at the first-class level back in Afghanistan. They just need a little polishing and experience