World Cup 2019: Adam Zampa might have decoded Rashid Khan puzzle ahead of Australia-Afghanistan clash
Australians have got a lot of opportunities to decode Rashid's spin web.
Published - May 20, 2019 5:02 pm | Updated - May 20, 2019 5:02 pm
It could be a two-spinners’ tale in Bristol on June 1 when defending world champions Australia take on Afghanistan in their first match of the upcoming World Cup. And Australia’s Adam Zampa might have learnt a trick or two from his Afghan counterpart Rashid Khan during their stay-together during the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia earlier this year. The 27-year-old bowler even called Rashid a “once in a lifetime bowler” and his initiative to learn some secrets about the Afghan’s spin repertoire could help Australia’s batters to crack the puzzle when they take on the talented bowler.
According to a report in Australia’s cricket.com.au, Zampa had met Rashid after a game between his team Melbourne Stars and the latter’s Adelaide Strikers at Ted Summerton Reserve in Moe, a Victorian country located about 120 kilometres east of the city of Melbourne in January this year during the BBL and there the Afghan was charitable enough to reveal some secrets.
“I went into the Strikers’ room and I said, ‘Rash’, and he was licking on a Calippo (icy pole) and it was dripping down the front of his shirt. He said ‘yeah, I’ll come for a bowl’. He finished it (the Calippo) off on the walk out. I was always intrigued with him and said, ‘I am going to have a bowl with this guy’,” Zampa revealed, according to the cricket.com.au report.
Zampa admitted that he had tried to ape Rashid’s method while bowling but without success. “The reason he runs in so fast is that he’s got really thick fingers and holds the ball right at the end (of his fingers). I bowl it (with the ball) right in my palm, he bowls it right at the end. He’s so hard to pick because he just uses the end of his fingers. I tried doing it but they were just slipping out,” Zampa said adding that Rashid Khan’s was “unbelievable”.
Australian players have had enough scope of getting familiar with Rashid’s spin skills
Zampa could come to aid his batsmen if he shared this little piece of valuable information with his Australian team-mates ahead of the Bristol clash. The only time the two teams met in a World Cup was in the 2015 edition and on that occasion, the Kangaroos had a field day by posting a total of 417 for 6 and then skittling the Afghans out for a paltry 142. David Warner slammed 178 off 133 balls in the match.
Incidentally, Warner plays with Rashid for the same franchise – Sunrisers Hyderabad – in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and would already have earned some useful practice playing him. Mujeeb ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi are other two Afghan spinners are also known more to the Australian batters now, thanks to T20 tournaments like the IPL and BBL. Even Alex Carey, who will keep the wickets for Australia in the WC, has the experience of keeping Rashid in the BBL and is confident of picking the ball early.