Afghanistan star Rashid Khan has lavished praise on Rishabh Pant, saying that the youngster has every shot in the book. One of the best spinners in the world right now, Rashid Khan also said that it’s difficult to contain Pant when he gets going with the bat.
Rashid Khan has not bowled to Pant in international cricket but has faced him in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The leg-spinner has also bowled to the India youngster during his U19 days. He recalled the time when he bowled to Pant in an U19 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?’,” Rashid Khan recalled the incident in an Instagram chat with Indian legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
“He has every shot in the book and is one batsman who is very tough to bowl to,” he added.
Pant, however, is yet to show his talent in international cricket. While he has scored two centuries and as many fifties in Test cricket, he is yet to get going in limited-overs cricket. Earlier this year, he lost his place in the ODI and T20I teams to KL Rahul.
Rashid Khan further talked about the art of bowling. He 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,” he said.
Rashid Khan became the first player from Afghanistan to play in the cash-rich IPL in 2017. Since then, he is an integral part of Sunrisers Hyderabad. In his successful IPL career so far, he has dismissed the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Andre Russell and Chris Gayle among many.