Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | Last Update : 02:12 AM IST

63rd Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra52667157861695 Tamil Nadu170828731119 Gujarat144686636888 Delhi140536771276 Rajasthan73004056167 Madhya Pradesh68593571300 Uttar Pradesh64973660169 West Bengal38161414278 Andhra Pradesh2886189256 Bihar273773313 Karnataka218270544 Punjab2081191340 Telangana1920116456 Jammu and Kashmir166880923 Odisha14386497 Haryana121380216 Kerala8975326 Assam549634 Jharkhand4051484 Uttarakhand349584 Chhatisgarh292670 Chandigarh2661874 Himachal Pradesh223634 Tripura1981650 Goa67190 Puducherry49170 Manipur3640 Meghalaya15121 Nagaland300 Arunachal Pradesh210 Mizoram110 Sikkim100

Afghan poster boy Rashid Khan buckling under weight of expectations

REUTERS
Published : Jun 25, 2019, 5:17 pm IST
Updated : Jun 25, 2019, 5:17 pm IST

South African warhorse Imran Tahir and Bangladesh talisman Shakib Al Hasan are the only two spinners among the tournament’s top 10 bowlers.

His reputation, earned largely in franchise cricket, preceded him in England but success has eluded him in a tournament he was supposed to set alight. (Photo: AFP)
 His reputation, earned largely in franchise cricket, preceded him in England but success has eluded him in a tournament he was supposed to set alight. (Photo: AFP)

Manchester: No other spinner headed into the World Cup with a burden of expectation heavier than the one on Rashid Khan’s shoulders but seven matches into the tournament and the poster boy of Afghan cricket is buckling under the weight.

His reputation, earned largely in franchise cricket, preceded him in England but success has eluded him in a tournament he was supposed to set alight. England is not exactly a spinner’s paradise though.

South African old warhorse Imran Tahir and Bangladesh talisman Shakib Al Hasan are the only two spinners among the tournament’s top 10 bowlers.   

Right-arm quick Gulbadin Naib is the highest placed Afghan with nine wickets from seven matches — all of which his team have lost to be rooted to the bottom of the standings.

With just four wickets from seven outings, Rashid, currently, the top-ranked Twenty20 bowler, is not even the best spinner in his team. Mohammad Nabi has seven from seven and Mujeeb Ur Rahman — another off-spinner — has five from five.

Batsmen initially treated Rashid with respect before Eoin Morgan destroyed him in Manchester where the leg-spinner’s 9-0-110-0 went down as the worst figures in World Cup history.

No bowler in the tournament has been hit for more sixes than the dozen he has conceded so far.

“He is not bowling (at the level) where I want him,” captain Naib, who defended Rashid after the Manchester mauling saying it was a one-off day, said after Monday’s loss to Bangladesh.

“But he is trying hard, he is giving his 100 per cent.”The 20-year-old endured another wicketless day at the Hampshire Bowl on Monday, even as Mujeeb got three while Shakib returned the tournament’s best figures of 5-29 on the same slow track.

The closest he came to tasting success was when he trapped Shakib leg before. The batsman instantly reviewed it and eventually got the decision overturned with ball-tracker suggesting the delivery would have just sailed over the stumps.

His frustration was evident too as Rashid remonstrated with teammates who put up another shabby fielding display marked by spilled catches, misfields and overthrows.

Naib, who reckoned his team bled extra 30-40 runs on the field, said he could sympathise with Rashid.    “I’m also disappointed with our fielding like him. There was an occasion when he was very angry with a fielder,” Naib added.

“If we do not field well, it upsets the bowlers. Rashid is one of those players, who is trying to do well in all three departments. But again, we gave away extra runs, and naturally, he was very upset.  

“I told him ‘relax and focus on your bowling’. He missed momentum because of our poor fielding.”

Their next two assignments against former champions Pakistan and West Indies are Rashid’s final hopes to salvage some of his reputation in his maiden 50-overs World Cup appearance.

Tags: 2019 icc cricket world cup, rashid khan, afghanistan cricket team
Location: United Kingdom, England, Manchester
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT