‘I became a different bowler after my debut season at SRH’ – Rashid Khan on how IPL changed his life
The young spinner made an instant impact on the league and has scaled several heights in world cricket since then.
Updated - Jun 29, 2021 4:19 pm
In the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup in India, a young leg-spinner from Afghanistan made a mark with some beautiful tricks and some important wickets for his side. His performance was enough for him to land up a few T20 franchise contracts. But, the big one happened in 2017, when he was signed up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for the IPL season. His name is Rashid Khan.
The young spinner made an instant impact on the league and has scaled several heights in world cricket since then. In a recent interaction, the 22-year-old cricketer looked back at his debut season in the IPL and called it the turning point in his career. In 2021, he is already one of the most successful bowlers for the franchise, having picked up 85 wickets in 69 matches with an economy of 6.23.
Talking about his career before the IPL contract, he said, “there wasn’t a lot of exposure back then, there was hardly any international cricket against the big teams, and it was only during the World Cup or Asia Cup that we got a chance,” Rashid went on to credit his appearance in the cash-rich league for the improvement in his game.
My cricket changed a lot, be it fitness, skills, or just the mental side: Rashid Khan
“In 2017, when I came to the IPL, my cricket changed a lot, be it fitness, skills, or just the mental side of things. I didn’t have much idea about what the big players thought of me. At SRH, I got to speak with Tom Moody, VVS Laxman, and Muttiah Muralitharan. Once I got to know what they thought of me, it felt good. It’s an important aspect, it really motivated me,” Khan said during an episode of ‘Cricbuzz- In conversation’, a show hosted by Harsha Bhogle.
Rashid then talked about the presence of big cricketers around him and how it made him a better player. He mentioned that the senior players of the Hyderabad team at the time, the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner, Yuvraj Singh, Kane Williamson, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, helped him a lot with his game.
Khan said, “I became a different bowler after that IPL. I played well against the big players and performed well, which made me believe in my skills.” He also narrated a story about Muralitharan, who told him that he has more skill than Murali himself.