regular-article-logo Sunday, 21 April 2024

Rashid Khan ruled out of India series but Afghanistan skipper confident others would step up

He is not totally fit. He is doing his rehab. We will miss him in the series. Without Rashid there are a few players we trust, says Ibrahim Zadran

PTI Mohali Published 10.01.24, 02:31 PM
Rashid Khan.

Rashid Khan. File picture

Afghanistan will be without their trump card Rashid Khan in the T20 series against India starting here on Thursday but skipper Ibrahim Zadran was upbeat about the team's chances in their strongest format.

The celebrated spinner, who underwent a back surgery after the ODI World Cup in November, has been named in the squad but will not be available for the three games as he undergoes his rehab.


"He is not totally fit. He is doing his rehab. We will miss him in the series. Without Rashid there are a few players we trust," said Zadran in the pre-match press conference.

"We have many players like Mujeeb (Zadran) who have played a lot of cricket. We have trust in them. We will struggle without Rashid but one should be ready for any kind of situation," he asserted.

After ODI World Cup, people expect from us

The performance of Afghanistan in the ODI World Cup in India was among the highlights of the tournament.

The team was very much in the running for a semifinal berth after beating defending champions England and Pakistan in the league stage.

Zadran, who opens the innings, has hardly been home since the high of that tournament but knows that the fans' expectations have gone up significantly.

"I only went home for one day but what I heard from teammates, they said all the people were happy. Nowadays, all around the country people expect lots of things from us. It is the only thing in the country that is giving happiness to people of Afghanistan," said Zadran.

"Playing against India on their home soil is difficult but we are here to win, show our skills. We have lots of good players in T20 and we are good in this format, I am sure we will perform well." The games will help Afghanistan fine-tune their preparations for the T20 World Cup and Zadran feels the team must improve in the batting department.

"We have one of the best spinners in the world, we have fast bowlers as well but our aim is to improve batting skills," said the 22-year-old who also believes that dew won't be a factor despite the cold conditions prevailing in North India.

"We have been training here last two three days, there was no dew," he pointed out.

Aiming to improve strike rate

Zadran wants to improve his strike rate in the lead up the World Cup in Americas. He has a strike rate of 103 in 27 games, leaving a lot of scope for improvement. Zadran is expected to open alongside Rahamanullah Gurbaz.

"I play the anchor role in the team in ODIs. In T20s, the aim is to improve my strike rate but it also depends on the situation. When team needs you, you should be able to play fancy shots.

"I am working on it. We are going to the T20 World Cup. if I increase that strike rate, it will be good for the team," he added.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

Follow us on: