Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan longs for more Test opportunities

Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan longs for opportunities to play Test matches against top teams, the 23-year-old told Reuters on Friday.

Rashid has played five of Afghanistan’s six Tests since the country was granted Full Membership of the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2017.

They were scheduled to play a one-off Test in Hobart in November but Cricket Australia postponed the match citing uncertainty over the future of women’s cricket under Afghanistan’s Taliban rule.

Rashid lamented missing out on an opportunity to test his craft against the likes of Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.

“As a player, it disappoints you because you always wait for opportunities to play big teams,” the legspinner, currently playing for Gujarat Titans in the IPL, said.

“It’s about improving your cricket and learning new things.

“We all were looking forward to it but sometimes things do not go your way. I hope we get the opportunity to play them soon.”

A sought-after name in Twenty20 leagues across the world, Rashid knows playing Test cricket was imperative to grow as a bowler.

“You want to bowl long spells to learn more about your bowling. I do hope we get the opportunity in the next few years to play more Test matches.”

Rashid has set alight franchise cricket in India, Australia, England, the West Indies and Pakistan with his feisty legspin and believes the experience would stand him in good stead even in Tests.

“Wickets and conditions vary from country to country. You have to think differently and that adds something extra to your game,” he explained.

“That experience makes you mentally very strong. It has helped me a lot.”

Apart from being an agile fielder, he is also an aggressive lower-order batter which makes him an asset in franchise cricket.

“I think I can be a much better batsman than what I am now,” Rashid said.

“I should be someone taking more responsibility in that department as well. I keep working on my batting.

“In the last couple of years, there’s more expectation from me in that department that I can deliver crucial 20-25 runs with the bat.

“I know I have the skill and talent to deliver that, it’s just about bringing that confidence in you that you can deliver.”

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