Afghanistan’s leg-spinner Rashid Khan believes that Cricket legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, and Shahid Afridi are superstars when Afghanistan had yet to establish its own image on the global stage. Rashid made his Afghan debut in 2015 and since then he has established a reputation for himself in a number of ways. The 23-year-old currently has over 600 wickets including 15 five-wicket hauls.
Even though his excellent spin-bowling has gotten most of the attention, Rashid has made effective use of the long handle. Rashid, a power batsman, has 6 half-centuries for Afghan, the highest of which was an undefeated 70. The leggie claimed that when he used to watch Tendulkar, he went from being a real team player to a power hitter.
I changed my mind to now mainly focusing on hitting sixes: Rashid
“Batting-wise, I always loved watching Sachin Tendulkar. [Back then] I wasn’t the kind of player with a mindset of hitting sixes. I loved playing down the ground, singles, boundaries. I don’t know how and why I changed my mind to now mainly focusing on hitting sixes,” Rashid said.
Rashid also admitted that he watches YouTube footage of Anil Kumble and Shahid Afridi, who used to be fast in the air and didn’t leave the ball much room. Rashid is likewise a bowler who loves to strike the batsmen with speed rather than flighting the delivery.
“[Bowling-wise], definitely Shahid Afridi and Anil Kumble. Even at home, playing against my brothers, I was bowling quicker leg-spin [like Afridi and Kumble]. I loved watching them on TV. I still watch videos [of them] on YouTube – there are so many things I learned from them and still do,” he stated.
When I meet them, it is more than a dream: Rashid Khan
“I used to dream about these three players and imagine being them. We didn’t have a proper Afghanistan team back then and there were no hopes for us to be international cricketers, so watching them was great. And now when I meet them, it is more than a dream,” Rashid Khan added.
Rashid is presently in the United Arab Emirates, where he will compete in the 2021 T20 World Cup. The Afghans are preparing for their Super 12 matchups by playing warm-up games.