Australia star Glenn Maxwell has said negating Rashid Khan will be the key for Australia when they take on Afghanistan in their World Cup-opener on June 1. Australia, the record five time winners, will start the game as favourites especially after the recent results but taking Afghanistan lightly could prove fatal. Afghanistan have already shown they are more than capable of beating any team on their day by defeating Pakistan in the warm-up game and Australia will have to guard against complacency against the Asian side.
For Australia, one of the biggest challenges would be to face Rashid Khan – arguably the best leg-spinner in the world at the moment. Rashid has made batsmen’s life miserable with his deliveries and could very well create havoc against the defending champions. And Maxwell does know the challenge that lies ahead for him and his teammates.
The hard-hitting allrounder admitted that the Afghanistan star ‘is very difficult’, saying that the leggie is one of the toughest spinners he has faced in his career.
“At times I think I can (pick him). He’s very difficult. He is probably one of the more difficult ones (spinners) I’ve played against,” Glenn Maxwell told cricket.com.au.
“He and (Sunil) Narine are probably the two you go through stages where you think you are going to hold them and then they bowl a ball that beats you. And you sit there shaking your head. For me, I feel like I don’t think I’m going to get out to him, but I don’t feel like I’m going to score much off him,” he added.
Maxwell, who played a crucial role in Australia’s triumph at the World Cup four years ago, said he would bank on his experience of playing Rashid in the Big Bash League. Maxwell also said that targeting other bowlers can help him put pressure on Rashid.
“It’s about targeting other blokes and making sure I’m putting pressure on him to change his lengths and I felt like I did that against him during the Big Bash at different times. I will be drawing on that experience a little bit,” Glenn Maxwell said.
“We’ve got a bit of footage to watch, but it’s a different kettle of fish when you’re actually facing him,” he added.
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