Afghanistan bowler Rashid Khan's cricketing journey is a tale of hard work and passion on the path to glory. Growing up in war-torn Afghanistan, he rose up through the ranks by his advancements in tennis ball cricket and then further on to higher levels.
The wily leg-spinner does have claims to be one of the most exciting talents currently and has matured into an indispensable player for the Afghanistan cricket team being one of the leading players in the shortest format of the game.
Showcasing the modern leg-spin with sophistication, the spinner bowls more googlies than leg breaks. Something he has perfected into a reliable weapon and executes it with whatsoever no predictability. Styling his bowling after Shahid Afridi, he bowls similar lines and lengths. Bowling at a quick pace, he spins the balls more with his fingers than his wrists, thus not allowing the batsmen little time to adjust.
Any batsman in the world finds it hard to successfully play out the spin bowler, but today as we take a look at his performances in the IPL, some interesting stats come up. On the first look, destructive all-rounder Hardik Pandya has clearly struggled to read the bowler. Having played 5 innings, the batsman’s 157.58 career strike rate drops to a meager 54.55 with having himself dismissed twice. The Indian all-rounder's dot ball percentage goes up by a whopping 33.29% when facing the bowler.
Another player who has a marked increase in dot ball percentage is Kieron Pollard. With the dot balls played increasing by 19.96%, the West Indian batsman has struggled to find his explosiveness against the leg-break bowler. Able to hit only a boundary and a maximum each in 8 innings, Rashid Khan surely has his number. The Afghanistan bowler has troubled some big names with AB de Villers, MS Dhoni, Eoin Morgan, etc others on the list.
Yet there are players who have been able to figure out a way or two to score runs against the bowler. One of the most successful ones has been Shane Watson, playing over 5 innings against Rashid Khan. The Australian all-rounder who has a career strike rate of 132.92, has his strike rate jump up to 174.47 when facing the bowler. Scoring 6 boundaries and 5 maximums, Rashid Khan has never been able to dismiss the player.
Another surprising name on the list is that of West Indies veteran Chris Gayle. The batsman with a known tendency to struggle against spin bowling has shown no sign of weakness when facing the Afghanistan leggie. Although the dot ball percentage almost stands similar with only a slight drop when facing the bowler, the batsman's strike rate jumps up a whopping 52.37% scoring 7 maximums in the process. Clearly, Gayle’s destruction knows no bounds.
With time on his side, Rashid Khan stands to become one of the most impactful cricketers of this generation, especially making his name in the shorter formats of the game but still a long way to go before he establishes himself in the upper echelons of the game.
After taking a look at the stats presented, Let us know which batsman's struggle against the bowler, and vice versa has stood out to you the most.
Stats Credits: Arghyadip Ganguly