Heaping lavish praise on leg-spinner Rashid Khan, Afghanistan cricket team head coach Lalchand Rajput compared the highly-rated youngster with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
Rashid has been making all the noises for the right reasons in the last one year or so. The right-arm bowler, who idolises Pakistani leggie Shahid Afridi, first grabbed the attention when he finished last year’s World T20 as its second highest wicket-taker.
Earlier this year, he took nine wickets in only 3 matches including the figure of 5 for three runs in the T20 series against Ireland to showcase his immense potential. The 18-year old followed it with a strong showing in the subsequent ODI series, taking 16 wickets in five matches including the figure of six for 43 to help his side win the series 3-2. The performances were enough to earn him a lucrative IPL contract, as Sunrisers Hyderabad paid a whopping amount of INR 4 crore to bag his services.
Rashid fully justified his huge price tag by finishing the tournament as its sixth-highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets from 14 games. Recently, he grabbed the headlines by picking seven for just 18 runs in an ODI against West Indies that helped Afghanistan to stun the two-time world champions by 63 runs.
Rashid’s performances have already left one and all impressed but his coach Rajput is so much convinced that he feels the bowler will rule the bowling just like Sachin Tendulkar ruled the game.
“He (Rashid) is the new kid on the block. He has natural abilities. There are certain people who have got natural abilities, like Sachin (Tendulkar) who was born to rule cricket. This boy definitely will rule the bowling. He is one of the pillars of Afghanistan cricket,” Rajput told PTI.
“He bowls with pace and batsmen finds it difficult to pick him,” he added.
Rajput also suggested that the youngster should continue working hard to thrive at the highest stage of the game for a long time.
“Because such type of bowlers come and fade away also. A classic example is of Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis. When he came on the scene nobody was able to pick him, but after a few years batsmen started reading him and he is nowhere now,” said Rajput.
Afghanistan along with Ireland was granted the Test status on Thursday (June 22). Expressing his delight over it, Rajput said:
“It is a great moment for all of us and that country. It is a great thing for the people of that country.”