Pant has every shot in the book: Rashid

Rashid Khan had faced Rishabh Pant in an Under-19 tri-series in 2015 in Kolkata ahead of the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2016.

MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant

Despite getting a number of chances, Rishabh Pant has still has not been able to cement his place in the Indian side since MS Dhoni sidelined himself post the 2019 World Cup semifinal.   -  FILE PHOTO/ REUTERS

India batsman Rishabh Pant has every shot in the book and it’s difficult to contain him when he gets going, says star Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan.

Rashid had faced Pant in an Under-19 tri-series in 2015 at the Jadavpur University second campus ground in Kolkata ahead of the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2016.

“He hit three sixes in a row and in the fourth ball he mis-timed but only to be dropped at short midwicket. Our bowler looked helpless and put his hands on his head, yelling in Pashto, ‘Now what do I do to get him out?’,” Khan recalled the incident in an Instagram chat with Indian legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Despite getting many chances, the Delhi left-hander has still not been able to cement his place in the side since MS Dhoni sidelined himself post the 2019 World Cup semifinal.

“He has every shot in the book and is one batsman who is very tough to bowl to,” Rashid said.

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Talking about the art of bowling, Khan said the key to tackle the big-hitting batsmen is to confuse them.

“Never pitch the ball up. They would clear boundaries with ease. It’s about playing them on the backfoot and confuse them with the wrong'un and leg-spin. I always try to mix it up,” Rashid, who is known for his big-spinning googly, said.

Having become the first player from Afghanistan to play in the cash-rich IPL in 2017, Rashid has become one of the most key players for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

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He has had the prized scalps of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Andre Russell and Chris Gayle in a successful IPL career and believes these are the four batsmen who are tough to bowl to.

He added he never enjoyed bowling at the small ground of M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, which happens to be a batting paradise.

“When I come to Bangalore, I have so many things in my mind. I hope to get a spin-friendly wicket. It’s difficult for me to bowl.”

Rashid and Chahal also made their combined India-Afghanistan ODI XI.

The XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rahmat Shah, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya/Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan/Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

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