Rashid Khan: Will try to give my best against Virat Kohli

Rashid Khan has taken 55 wickets for SRH in the last 3 IPLs. Credit: BC
Rashid Khan has taken 55 wickets for SRH in the last 3 IPLs. Credit: BC

Rashid Khan is of the opinion that it will be a proud moment for him to bowl against Virat Kohli, who is “a world-class player in all three formats”. The leg spinner addressed a virtual press conference ahead of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s tournament opener against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Dubai International Stadium on Monday.

"I think whenever you are bowling to anyone, you are under pressure. Virat is a world-class player in all three formats. I love it when somebody like him is batting against me, it is the best competition and you want it as a bowler. I will enjoy bowling to him, it will be a proud moment bowling to him. As a bowler, I will try to bowl the best deliveries," the Afghanistan spinner said while talking about the Indian skipper.

Rashid Khan praised teammates Abdul Samad and Mohammad Nabi. Abdul Samad is one of the exciting young players in the SRH squad. The Jammu and Kashmir batsman has impressed fans with his power-hitting prowess. Samad hit 36 sixes in the Ranji Trophy 2019-2020 and was a vital cog in his state team that reached the quarter-final.

“I saw Abdul Samad in our practice game yesterday and he was hitting the ball really long. He is a very strong guy and can clear the rope easily. I haven’t seen much of him yet but every player and coaching staff is very impressed by what he has done in training so far,” Rashid said.

Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have been playing together for SRH since 2017. Over the past three seasons, Nabi has played only 13 matches for the franchise but Rashid believes that his insights and experience are really useful.

“Mohammad Nabi brings extra value to our side. He has played cricket for the last 16-17 years and having that experience on board is always helpful. Even when he is not playing, he keeps on giving his inputs from the sidelines which have helped me and the team on numerous occasions,” the SRH spinner said.

Rashid Khan believes lockdown won't affect international stars

Rashid Khan will continue to spearhead the SRH attack in IPL 2020. Credits: SRH
Rashid Khan will continue to spearhead the SRH attack in IPL 2020. Credits: SRH

Rashid Khan also said that he felt that the lockdown will not affect international players. According to Khan, he didn't feel out of rhythm when he returned to practice after the lockdown.

“To me, if you are a professional cricketer playing at the international level, those 5-6 months shouldn’t affect you. When I returned to cricket during CPL, I didn't feel like I came back after a long time because before the lockdown I was playing consistent cricket for 3-4 years and this should be the same for everyone as well,” he said.

The 22-year-old has shown glimpses of his all-round potential in the past but did not mention whether he will be promoted up the order. In his IPL career so far, Rashid has an impressive strike rate of 165 but has only scored 105 runs.

When asked about his underrated batting ability, Rashid Khan said that he gives his best irrespective of the position he bats at.

“When you have a long batting line-up you can't complain about batting too low. In CPL the Tridents had a long batting line-up and that's why I batted at No. 10. So it all depends on the situation as in the Big Bash League, the team management gives me the license to go all-out,” said Khan.

Rashid Khan's bowling abilities will be tested against the dynamic batting lineup of RCB, as the sides meet for their first match up of IPL 2020 on Monday.

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Edited by Deepit Magee
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