He is been considered one of the best leg spinners in modern day cricket, if not the best. Almost every batsman in world cricket now faces trouble to tackle him, thus giving him the tag of a mystery spinner. But Rashid Khan, the legspinner from Afghanistan, doesn’t want him to be called a mystery spinner. Rather, in a recent chat with the CrickerSoccer.com, Rashid told that it’s only his hard work that reflects his success story till now.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer (CS): What could be the reason behind Afghanistan’s speciality of producing quality spinners one after another?
Rashid Khan (RK): Yes it’s true that Afghanistan is producing quality spinners. Actually, every country has its speciality. India produces good batsman. Australia, South Africa and England produce quality pacers. Our speciality are the spinners. The reason could be that we play on slow, dry wickets back at home. Those type of wickets usually helps spin bowling.
CS: How are you looking at the upcoming test match against India?
RK: Ohh, it’s going to be a landmark for Afghanistan cricket. When I started to play cricket, I always dream to represent my country in the longer format of the game. It’s true that we play limited overs cricket, especially T20s more often. But that doesn’t reflect our will. We love test cricket and the match against India is going to be a cracker. Supporters are going to witness a good match. That I’m sure of.
CS: Virat Kohli will not be playing the test match against Afghanistan. Will it be a factor as far as the importance of the game is concerned?
RK: We are just focused on playing good cricket. We are not thinking whether Virat Kohli will be playing or not. In Test cricket, anyone can give you a tough time. So that’s where Test cricket is different. The full focus is on playing good cricket and to prove that we are deserving of Test status. And to be very precise, India is a strong opponent even without Virat. So we have to be at our best to give them a fight back.
CS: You’ve always been very articulate about the killing in Afghanistan. How do you detach yourself from this thought when you take the field?
RK: There are times when I wonder whether it’s right on my part to be playing in such a high-profile T20 tournament like Indian Premier League (IPL) when innocents keep getting killed by the dozens? I do ask myself. But the killings back in Afghanistan push me to do even better. That, I hope, will attract more to cricket. I would not say more on this issue.
CS: In Sunrisers Hyderabad, you get to train under a legend, Muttiah Muralitharan. Would you please share your experience of working with him?
RK: When he saw my action for the very first time, he told me you don’t need to change anything. He talks to me about spot bowling – focus on where I want to pitch the ball, the spot I want to target. The second thing he always tells me is that I have to remain relaxed and cool even when batsmen hit me for sixes, or even if I take five-six wickets and that I should bowl according to my plan and targets. He has shared a lot of his experience with me and says that once you become mentally strong, it will help you in a lot of situations.
CS: Many consider you a mystery spinner as you are very tough to be picked. Your take.
RK: Look, to be very honest, I don’t think my bowling has anything mysterious. I’m not a mystery bowler. Rather, I would say that what I am today, it’s because of my hard work only. I spend hours by practising in the nets. I always try to learn new things because I firmly believe there’s no limit to improvement. I’m still improving.