IPL 2020: Adapting to conditions will be key for spinners, says SRH's Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan, who turned 22 today, feels both wind and dew will be a challenge for the slow bowlers especially in the second half of the games in UAE.

Sunrisers Hyderabad leg-spinning all-rounder Rashid Khan.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

You have to bowl the best ball to get rid of world-class players like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Aaron Finch, says Sunrisers Hyderabad leg-spinner Rashid Khan as his team gears up to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in UAE on Monday.

“There are no excuses for bowling bad balls. You have to keep things simple and enjoy the challenges” says Rashid in a virtual media interaction on Sunday.

The SRH frontline bowler, who turned 22 today, feels both wind and dew will be a challenge for the slow bowlers especially in the second half of the games in UAE.

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“Yes, irrespective of the nature of the wickets which are expected to be spin-friendly especially as the League progresses, one has to come and deliver,” he said.

“Well, I have been trying a lot of variations in the last few months. But I feel that I am not 100 percent perfect to use them in the shorter format. I found them tough to experiment in the recent Caribbean Premier League. I may be better off in trying them in Test cricket,” Rashid said.

“Yes, having five grips to bowl my leg-spin, using the shoulder and quicker action help me to bowl faster and get more turn,” he said. “But, I want to stay focussed, be more smarter and consistent rather
than thinking too much about those new balls in my armoury,” he added.

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“Ultimately, as a spinner one has to adjust to the nature of the wicket and bowl a consistent line and length, attack the weak zone of the batsmen,” Rashid said.

“I never think of  only being a wicket-taker. My job is also to bowl as many dot balls as possible to force the batsmen to take risks with other bowlers. For me taking one wicket and the team winning is more important than picking five wickets and being on a losing side,” he explained.

“Well, we are getting used to playing  in front of empty stands, reminding me of my club cricket days. But, the idea of ensuring that some cheering through a sound system at the ground here is good for it gives extra energy,” Rashid said.

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What can be the biggest challenge in this IPL? “The bio-bubbles are really demanding. How to adjust yourself, stay fit for more than two months in this unique environment is the biggest challenge. Those who enjoy it the most and remain mentally fresh will be the most successful cricketers here,” he said with a smile.

Rashid says he is looking forward to working with new head coach Trevor Bayliss. “I am keen to share thoughts with him about my bowling and hope to keep improving and be a much better bowler. And, playing under David Warner is a great experience for he has always supported me from game one, telling us to just enjoy and give our best,” he said.

“We have quite a few batters in the middle-order who can rise to the occasion. Again, it is not all about hitting big sixes but playing smart cricket like CSK’s Faf du Pleases did against Mumbai Indians in the opener,” Rashid said.

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“This is a different IPL since there is no home or away game as it is the same for any team. The quicker you adjust, the better you perform,” he said.

‘Yes, having such an experienced campaigner and Afghan teammate Mohammad Nabi in the team is a huge advantage for me. Even if he is not playing, he keeps sharing his thoughts on the game with me and
ensures that I am a better bowler,” the SRH leggie said.

Rashid also felt that staying from international cricket will not be an impediment for any player as they are all so professional. “It is a question of time before they get going,” he said.

On his batting, Rashid said he would love to go out with about four overs to go but if the batting line-up has depth he can’t complain. “What I can do in a given situation is more important than thinking where I am going to play,” he concluded.

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