4 Killing Factors That Makes Rashid Khan Unplayable

Rashid Khan is popular as one of the world’s top white-ball bowlers. Even after being around for a while, the batters still don’t read the Afghan. Instead of giving him wickets, teams try to play him out. Even though everything around him is changing all the time, Rashid is still very effective.  

In one of his interviews, he said he can bowl six different deliveries in a single over. The most important thing is that Rashid performs all varieties with similar accuracy. This blog will outline four vital aspects that make it difficult for even big batters to take on or deal with Rashid Khan’s bowling.

Rashid Khan: From the streets of Afghanistan to Global Superstar

During Afghanistan’s early years in global cricket, Rashid Khan was their first global superstar. His effective leg spin has made him one of the best T20 bowlers ever, among the first names on wishlists of teams in leagues all around the world.

When Rashid debuted his ODI during Afghanistan’s October 2015 tour of Zimbabwe, he was barely 17. In the Indian Premier League, Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him for about US$600,000 less than two years later. After a huge 17-wicket debut season with them, he signed franchise deals with Adelaide Strikers, who won their maiden BBL title in 2018, and Guyana Amazon Warriors, with whom he took his first CPL hat-trick in 2017.

He also saw great success for Afghanistan, taking 5 for 3 in a T20 international against Ireland to maintain a record 11-match winning streak. Later in 2017, he led his team to victory over the West Indies in their first-ever ODI in the Caribbean with 7 for 18. He was recognised as the 2017 ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year.

Rashid made history the next year by becoming the youngest cricket player to lead a national team. He is the youngest player to reach 100 ODI wickets, and the youngest cricketer to top the ODI bowling rankings.

Rashid got five second-inning wickets in Afghanistan’s first-ever Test match victory over Ireland. Six months later, in a historic win over Bangladesh in Chattogram, he scored a vital fifty and claimed twin five-fors. He took 11 once more in 2021, this time against Zimbabwe.

Factors that make Rashid Khan Unplayable

1. Extra bounce

Rashid Khan releases the ball from a higher position than other leg spinners.

The main cause of the extra bounce he receives after the ball is pitched is that he releases the majority of his deliveries at a 12 noon angle. He can see the batter’s upper edge more frequently because of this factor.

2. Line & Length

Rashid doesn’t bowl full-toss or short-pitched balls. It is because, in contrast to the other leg spinners, he uses his fingers more than his wrist. Rashid usually bowls at a decent length, which elevates his variations. He changes the ball’s trajectory based on the type of ball he bowls. 

3. Run-up

Rashid can bowl faster than a typical spinner because of his charge-in, which is similar to that of a medium pacer. His strength has always been speed. He gives the batter very little time to process and respond. His balls get speed from both the quick run-up and the strong shoulder movement that follows.

4. Unpredictability

    In modern cricket, predictability gives batters the edge over bowlers. Rashid, with his variations and masterly executions, keeps his deliveries very unpredictable. 

    Any modern-day batsman is clueless about the Afghan leg-spinner’s five unique variations and the extra pace he generates every time he charges in. A single over can contain all five of his variations. This makes him lethal, especially in the shortest format, where the batters have little time to read a bowler.

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    How to tackle the threat of Rashid Khan?

    What is the expected duration of the Rashid Khan magic? At one point, we saw mystery spinners arriving and then failing. Will batters come up with a new weapon to take on the Afghan, or will Rashid, the spin maestro, continue to emerge the winner? There can be a long delay.

    The batsmen can deal with Rashid Khan’s mystery bowling in two ways:

    • Play the sweep shot at the pitch of the ball like Callum Ferguson did against Rashid in the 2019-20 BBL season.
    • Another option is to ignore the turns he gets and go hard against him, which is not an intelligent strategy.

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