Hyderabad: The ICC Men's World Cup 2019 has just begun and record-breaking Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan is a player to watch out for. Khan will make his World Cup debut against defending champions Australia on Saturday.
Aged 20, Khan was born in the restive Nangarhar province in 1998. He is a refugee who came across the Pakistan border and fled the bloody battles that followed the US invasion in 2001 and the war with Taliban.
The world’s top-rated Twenty20 bowler has also made history as the fastest to reach 100 one-day international wickets.
It was in Peshwar city in Pakistan that Khan started grooming himself and he followed the footprints of his idol and fellow Pashtun slugger all-rounder Shahid Afridi.
His earlier coach Lala Ali Shafiq reminiscences that although he was god-gifted, he was not very hard-working.
Khan debuted in the tour of Zimbabwe in 2015. He keeps batsmen guessing with his unusual bowling action with disguised googlies, subtle variation and changes of pace.
He reached 100 wickets in his 44th ODI, shattering Australia seamer Mitchell Starc’s previous record, achieved in 52 matches.
World famous cricketers are of the view that Khan in the 2019 World Cup is a player to watch out for. Former Australian captain and one of legends of the game, Ricky Ponting described Rashid Khan as the bowler to watch out for.
Tendulkar's suggestion for the Afghan star Rashid Khan is to "set attacking fields" and treat the 50-over game like a "Test match", challenging the opposition batsmen regularly.
Tendulkar wants Rashid to challenge batsmen with a deep mid-wicket fielder.
Barring those who played him in the IPL, others will find it a challenge to read the complex variations of the Afghan spinner. Let’s see what Rashid has in store for us this World Cup season.