There is probably no bigger match-winner or a better bowler than Rashid Khan in T20 cricket. We asked a lot of questions to this champion bowler of Afghanistan in a quick manner. The media team of Gujarat Titans also gave us full support. Our first question was that it happens very rarely that the identity of a player becomes bigger than his country. Is something similar happening with you?
Rashid’s reply to this was- ‘To be honest, many times this thing is not believed. The kind of journey that I have had so far in cricket, is it a reality or a dream. Till a few years ago, my country used to play only a few matches but today our boys are playing in all leagues of the world.

This thing is not hidden from anyone, a lot has changed in the last few years for Rashid and Afghanistan cricket. On this issue, Rashid says- ‘A lot has changed. And I am happy that I have also played my part in this change. And what role has the IPL played in this change? On this Rashid says, ‘I have been a part of IPL for the last half a decade. I feel that I have raised the honor of my countrymen with my game.

In such a situation, you must be thinking that what is Rashid’s intention in the 2022 IPL because now that he is playing for the new team Gujarat Titans, then his answer was also interesting. ‘Nothing new. I just intend to continue what I have been doing till now. I am enjoying my cricket and consider myself very lucky that I have got such opportunities.

Rashid Khan was the identity of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for the last several years. As long as they had 4 overs, no team could even think of winning. How might his role be similar for Gujarat as well? ‘My plan will remain the same. There will be no change in my game, my preparation and process. My cricket will not change,’ thinks the former Afghanistan captain. But, Gujarat is a new team? And sometimes a lot changes with new teams. But for Rashid these things do not mean much. ‘My mindset will remain the same. I will try my best to remain as impressive as I have been in this tournament for the last several years.

Experts also believe that with a new team, many times a new thinking and new strategy also comes. ‘Gujarat titans may be a new team and my jersey has changed, my captain has changed, but it will not change cricket. Whatever comes to me, I will try to play my best. Gujarat is a new and different team but I will try to keep things simple and enjoy the game. Having said this, you also get a glimpse of his wonderful self-confidence in Rashid’s words.

However, at times you may be surprised that a bowler who learns cricket by watching videos on YouTube in one round can be so successful. But, Rashid has lived this fairy tale. “As I have already said, all this is just like a dream which is hard to believe. If 5 years ago someone had told me that I can stand on this level today, then I would have considered that thing only as a dream.

It is not easy for any writer or journalist to describe this wonderful journey of Rashid so far in mere words. Especially the important contribution of IPL in the life of such a player cannot be denied. ‘Wonderful is the journey. If you have talent and skill then you have to work hard. When I came to play IPL for the first time in 2017, I got tremendous exposure from this tournament. I got to learn a lot from teams and from other players. Especially in terms of fitness, I realized that staying fit is very important if I want to play long. It is believed that Rashid who has played T20 cricket for more than two dozen teams in the world so far.

Apart from this, there are many such things that IPL has taught them. In the aspect in which I was weak, I learned how to improve it. Even though I have reached a level in terms of success, but it is my intention to continue this success even further. I have also understood the importance of having consistency in the game.

It is generally said in cricket that it is very important for the leg-spinner to be with the captain. Rashid has broken those beliefs and he has been very successful too. In such a situation, when he was told that from the very beginning, did he make a difference in getting the support of any captain or not? His answer was also brilliant – ‘To be honest, the mindset of every bowler should be like this. Bowlers should have faith in their abilities. You also need the trust of the captain, but that is when you are going through difficult times. Generally, every bowler should have his own personal plan. There should be plans A and B. If that fails then you should go to your captain to see what options he has.

Rashid Khan’s words mean that every bowler should take his responsibility? “Absolutely. You should not be confused. I have always believed that as a bowler, you must take responsibility for your 6 balls in every over. The leg-spinner from Gujarat is talking about an interesting equation between the captain and the bowler. He says- ‘Look, if the captain has given you a field and you are not happy then you have to tell him. As far as I am concerned, first I want to implement my own plan. You need to have that kind of confidence as a bowler. It is necessary to talk without hesitation with the captain.

Tags: Gujarat Titans, IPL, IPL 2022, Rashid Khan

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