IPL 2021: “As a bowler, it puts extra pressure” – Rashid Khan on bowling at turning tracks

How many wickets will Rashid Khan pick up against PBKS?
How many wickets will Rashid Khan pick up against PBKS?
Wasiq Agha

Rashid Khan talked about the challenge of bowling in Chennai, admitting that the pressure on spinners increases exponentially when playing on such surfaces.

The Chepauk has proven to be a spinner’s haven, with the slow and low surface helping them. Sunrisers Hyderabad are currently playing the Punjab Kings there as they continue their quest for a first IPL 2021 win.

Rashid Khan spoke to Matthew Hayden ahead of the game and the Australian asked him whether a turning wicket increases the pressure on the Afghan leggie.

“It does sometimes, there is pressure on you as a bowler. You have to pitch in the right areas. When it is turning and you don’t pitch it in the right areas, it makes it quite easy for the batsmen to hit the ball. As a bowler, you have to pitch it in the right areas, because that’s how you can be more effective. On tracks like these, you can’t bowl back of the length or be too full. Because if you bowl too short, it is easy for the batsmen to go on the backfoot and hit you for a boundary, and the same with the full length as well. You have to be accurate with your line and length, and as a bowler, it puts extra pressure because you don’t have any option and you have to be more consistent,” Rashid Khan explained.

Despite the pressure on bowling in Chennai, Rashid Khan has started the new campaign brilliantly. The 22-year-old has picked up four wickets for SRH, with his economy of 5.33 being the best amongst bowlers with three overs or more this season. Rashid Khan is happy to start IPL 2021 on a positive note but is keen to continue his improvement as the season progresses.

“It is coming out of the hand nicely. I have been enjoying the IPL. It is all about giving your 100% and having self-belief and most importantly enjoying your game. Trying my best to keep improving day by day and keep watching myself. Whenever I bowl in a game, I tell myself to see after the game what the mistakes are. It is something which gives me a lot of energy for the next game to do the right things,” Rashid Khan discussed.

“No doubt he is one of the hardest hitters of the ball” – Rashid Khan on facing Chris Gayle

Being SRH’s front-line spinner, Rashid Khan will be tasked with getting the better of Chris Gayle. The Universe Boss has had the better of the leg-spinner in the IPL, striking at over 190 while being dismissed just once in the process. Rashid Khan conceded bowling to Chris Gayle isn’t easy, but he has some plans to outfox the explosive batsman.

No doubt he is one of the hardest hitters of the ball, someone who can clear the boundaries easily. At the same time as a bowler, when you come up against a batter like him, it is quite difficult to get him out. I am just trying my best to do the basics right, and bowl to him in the right areas. As soon as you miss your line against such batsmen, it is quite easy for them to hit you, you don’t have a chance to miss your line and length. You have to be more consistent against him, and that’s what I have in mind,” Rashid Khan suggested.

Rashid Khan will hope to help SRH to their first victory of the season. The leg-spinner is 11th in the Purple Cap race and will look to move up the standings with a match-winning performance on Wednesday afternoon.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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