Rashid Khan opens up about how he groomed under legend Muttiah Muralitharan

Rashid Khan opens up about how he groomed under legend Muttiah Muralitharan

"The coaches I have come across and trained under never pressurised me to make too many changes to my bowling," Rashid quoted.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Young Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan has been in a rampaging form in the recent times. Rashid was sensational in the IPL 2018, where he finished as the second leading wicket taker. His prolific performances helped his side, the Sunrises Hyderabad, reach the finals of the season. And now, two back to back Man of the Match performances from him have helped Afghanistan beat Bangladesh in the T20I series.

Everyone is busy talking about how Rashid Khan has evolved in the last two years. Very few people talk about the process that he has undergone. At the SRH camp, he groomed under the watchful eyes of former Sri Lankan great, Muttiah Muralitharan.

Recently, in an interview with Firstpost, Rashid spoke at length about how Muralitharan was different from the other coaches. He cited that most coaches have told him to make changes in his bowling. But the former Sri Lankan wizard asked him to stick to his skills and enjoy the time out on the field.

“The coaches I have come across and trained under never pressurised me to make too many changes to my bowling. They mostly share their experiences with me, tell me about staying cool, maintaining my calm in this game. To enjoy the game regardless of my form, and to believe in myself,” Rashid Khan quoted.

“This is precisely the message that I got from Murali sir as well. He even told me that I was much better than him in terms of skill, but that I’ve got to enjoy the game at the end of the day, regardless of whether you’re having a good or a bad day,” he added further.

On his preparations for the historic Test

After the conclusion of the T20I series, the next major hurdle for the Afghanistani side will be their first ever Test match. They are set to play against India in Bengaluru. Commenting on his preparations for the match, Rashid Khan noted that there are no mental changes in his game. He, however, added that the occasion will be indeed very big for the Afghanistani team and their fans.

“Mentally speaking, I don’t think I should be preparing for the inaugural Test any difference whatsoever. If I think too much along these lines, then I might end up in a confused state of mind, which might then affect my performance,” noted the leg spinner.

“No doubt it is an important Test for us as well as for the entire nation of Afghanistan, and the focus would be for us to simply enjoy ourselves out there. It will be a longer format, and a lot more time (will be spent on the ground). The best will be for us to enjoy every moment — whether bowling, fielding or batting — which then will lead to a good performance,” he added further.

On the crowd support in Dehradun

Lastly, Rashid Khan had his words of praises reserved for the crowd support in Dehradun. Dehradun is playing the home venue for Afghanistan in the T20I series against Bangladesh. Rashid feels delighted to receive so much of love from the people of Dehradun. It feels like second home to him.

“I felt quite proud (of the support received at Dehradun) and consider this my second home. Facilities are quite good at this venue. I haven’t seen too many international venues with facilities like the one here, with an expansive and well-developed pavilion and sizeable ground as well for that matter,” Rashid conceded.

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