Afghanistan’s young leg-spinner, Rashid Khan has become a household name for cricket fans across the world. His exceptional exploits for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and his role in helping Afghanistan reach the 2019 World Cup with victory over Zimbabwe in the qualifier has garnered him praise from all factions.
His nation’s next assignment will be their first Test since attaining Full Member Status from the ICC against India next month. Playing the biggest format is a privilege which Afghanistan have earned through sheer hard work and Khan is eagerly waiting. “It will be a big day for cricket in Afghanistan. I can’t wait to be called a Test cricketer”, said the youngster at a media event.
His mentality in approaching the game is simple- focus on playing good cricket and he is unperturbed by Kohli’s absence. “We just need to focus on playing good cricket, anyone can give you a tough time [in Test cricket]. I think we don’t have something like that, to draw, to win or to lose. We don’t need to say that this class player is not there and should be like ‘relax and we can win this’.”
He further revealed how much it meant to Afghanistan, “Playing Test cricket is the dream of every country and every player. It is a big honour and achieving this much in such short time is a proud thing for the whole nation, because we got Test cricket status in 13-14 years. It will be a big day for cricket in Afghanistan. They follow games online if they are not telecast as they are crazy about it.”
Speaking about Afghanistan’s strengths, Rashid said, “Every team has their strengths. Everyone knows we have the best spin bowling attack. Now we have been working hard on fast bowling and batting departments too, which is key for us.”
“We have a 30-member team practicing at Greater Noida and everyone is keenly waiting for the Test match to be played. We will be tested on how good we are. It is a big challenge for us, the whole team. The way the boys are doing the hard work, I hope they will do well in the match and we give a tough fight to India”, added Rashid.
The debut Test for Afghanistan is certainly a monumental and historic moment for them. They will be coming up against a very tough opponent, especially at home but they can take inspiration from Ireland, who also recently played their first Test. They took the fight to Pakistan and needless to say, they will be looking to do the same thing. An event worth marking our calendars for.