Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan on Wednesday heaped praises on India captain Virat Kohli, admitting that it is difficult to bowl to the right-hander. Ahead of his second T20 World Cup, Khan said there are two different kinds of batsmen, and bowling to each type is a challenge of its own.
The 23-year-old Rashid Khan went on to name Kohli as an example who will try to hit in the gaps and get either two runs or a boundary.
“The batsmen who try to hit you in the gap, like Virat Kohli, are pretty hard to bowl to. As soon as he finds out that this ball is a bit off length or a loose ball, he is going to hit you in the gap.”
“The hard-hitters might just block you and might want to get off strike or just play a dot ball. But Kohli will either get two or a boundary. Kane Williamson and Babar Azam are similar. These three batsmen are harder to bowl against because you have to be accurate against them - bowl the perfect line and length,” the Afghan leg-spinner told ESPNCricinfo.
Among the other group of batsmen, Rashid Khan talked about were the power-hitters like India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, and the West Indian trio of Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, and Chris Gayle.
“Power-hitters like Hardik Pandya, (Kieron) Pollard, (Andre) Russell, Chris Gayle - if you bowl anything fuller to them, they are going to hit you harder. If it is a good-length ball, they are going to block you. They won't be looking for that gap to take a single, double, or hit a boundary,” Khan said.
The leg-spinner, who has featured in Indian, English, and Australian leagues, has found remarkable success in different countries. Talking about his biggest strength, he stressed that reading the situations and conditions quickly, and adjusting himself faster than others is the secret behind his success.
“That's why I have been more successful - reading the situations and conditions very quickly and adjusting myself quicker than maybe others. That's how I have been more successful in different countries.”
Amid the novel coronavirus when the world was locked down, the cricketing activities slowly but steadily carried on in a bio-secure bubble. Adjusting to an isolating environment away from family was a new challenge in the lives of cricketers. While many complained, Rashid Khan silently carried on with his business.
“It's pretty hard to be in the bubble and playing cricket and staying mentally relaxed. But when you see the love and expectations of the fans, you are trying your best to be at the ground, giving a good performance, doing something special to make them happy.”