Rashid Khan, the No.1 T20I bowler in the world and No.2 on the ODI charts, is getting ready for Test cricket by reminding himself to be patient and stick to what he does best.
According to ICC, Khan, the leg-spinner who has bamboozled some of the best batsmen in leagues around the world, will be key for Afghanistan when they play their maiden Test, against India in Bengaluru from 14 June.
Speaking to news agencies on the sidelines of his team’s T20I series against Bangladesh, he said, “Being a Test cricketer is not a lot different to playing ODIs and T20s.
“I have done well in whatever four-day opportunities that I have got. If I make changes in my bowling thinking about the Test, it will not be good for me. I will bowl with the same speed I have been bowling so far.”
Khan, who on Sunday became the second-fastest to 50 T20I wickets, starring in his team’s win in the opener against Bangladesh, knows he may not be as prolific in Tests.
“It is going to be a test of patience,” he said. “There is a possibility that I might end up being wicketless.
“I have to make sure that I don’t panic. I know there will be a phase where I won’t pick up a wicket for 20 overs. And I could pick up two in two overs.”
The youngster, who is still only 19, has had a busy few months. After winning the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 in Zimbabwe, he featured prominently in the Indian Premier League where he was a finalist, and then turned out for World XI in the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge at Lord’s, before joining his team for the T20I series in the north Indian city of Dehradun.
But even as he goes places, he’s thinking of home. “I have not gone home in a year. I miss my family and friends a lot,” he admitted.
He is also affected by the violence back in Afghanistan. “It also hurts a lot to hear about blasts back home. Even during the IPL when there was a blast in my hometown, I was really upset. I lost a friend in that.
“Another friend called me that day and asked why I was not my usual smiling self in the game.
“So, all these incidents do affect me a lot but I try to keep myself in the best possible frame of mind to give a good performance on the field so that the troubled people back home get something to cheer about.”