Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan expects to receive plenty of support when they take on Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday, November 5. He believes it is more of a home game for him than Australia, whose semi-final hopes hinge on beating Afghanistan comprehensively.
The leg-spinner has plied his trade for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League (BBL) since 2017, with the Adelaide Oval being the team’s home ground.
Rashid has also performed splendidly in the BBL and is currently the second-highest wicket-taker amongst spinners in tournament history. He has picked up 92 scalps in 61 games at an average of 16.69.
Speaking to The Age, Rashid said he’s excited to be back at the Adelaide Oval and is eager to play his first international game at the venue. He averred:
“I think it’s more a home game for me than the Australian team. I’ve played enough cricket here the last five years in the Big Bash. I’m absolutely super happy to be back here and looking forward to the game. I think mostly people will be cheering for me.”
He has so far taken three wickets in two games. While Afghanistan are one of the most-improved cricketing nations in recent years, they are yet to win a game in the T20 World Cup 2022. While they lost to England and Sri Lanka, their fixtures against Ireland and New Zealand were washed out.
“A couple of years back I had that time in the middle of the ground in Sydney” – Rashid Khan on meeting Adam Zampa
The 24-year-old also recalled his experience of sharing knowledge with his Australian counterpart Adam Zampa and lauded the latter’s performances. He added:
“A couple of years back I had that time in the middle of the ground in Sydney. You share the experience, and the way he has been performing from the last three years, it has been amazing.
“We talked about the run-up. We discussed what makes a difference. Also a bit of sharing of using the wrist, using the fingers. The grip you hold for leg spin, the grip you hold for the wrong ’un. And I wanted to bowl the slower leggie, so we discussed that as well.”
The wrist-spinner will be determined to lead Afghanistan to a win over Australia in the two sides’ maiden T20I meeting.