Superstar Afghanistan spinner, Rashid Khan feels that his side should be playing Test cricket more often against the top-drawer teams than they do currently. The Afghans made their Test debut in June 2018 against India but have only played 3 more Test since.
After losing to India in their opening Test match, Afghanistan registered victories over Ireland and Bangladesh before losing their last Test match to West Indies.
As Afghanistan gears up for their upcoming two-match Test series against Zimbabwe in Abu Dhabi, Rashid Khan asserts that the players, youngsters especially, will learn a lot and faster if they are exposed to Test cricket frequently. Unfortunately, Rashid Khan won’t be part of the Test series after a finger injury sustained in the PSL ruled him out.
“Everyone talks about Test cricket in Afghanistan now. If we play the longer formats, like Tests and ODIs, that is what makes you a better cricketer. When we played in the 2019 World Cup in England, we were struggling with the bat, we didn’t know how to do things.
“But later on, the more we played against the big sides, we started realising what to do and the right shot-selection. That gave us an idea how should we start and build the innings. Latter part of the tournament, we started scoring runs properly, and scored 250-plus in every game,” Rashid Khan told ESPNcricinfo.
“That is something the boys are learning, and working on. So if we start playing longer formats, more than three-to-four Tests a year, which is really important for us, it will help the team and the players improve their cricket, especially the youngsters.”
The Test in Perth was huge for us: Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan, who has picked 23 wickets in 4 Tests with 3 five-wicket hauls, laments the fact that Afghanistan missed out on the previously scheduled Test match against Australia in Perth which was slated for November last year – but had to be postponed due to the pandemic. The match is expected to be played sometime later this year.
“Just imagine, if a youngster is playing a Test against a bigger team, only then he will realise what he needs to do and where he needs to improve.
“The Test in Perth was huge for us, and everyone back home was waiting for it. It could have been a historic Test. It is like a dream that comes true for any player to be a part of it. I would have considered myself so lucky to play in Australia against Australia, but this pandemic has really affected us,” the 22-year-old leg-spinner added.