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Rashid Khan and his lonely quest for excellence | Cricket News

BRIDGETOWN: There are times you feel for Rashid Khan. Shane Warne used to call him the best modern-day spinner. However, there isn’t enough international success to back up such a claim.
Take Thursday’s game, for example. The spinner was outstanding against an Indian batting lineup that is probably the best against spin across the globe. He had figures of 3/26.The wickets in his bag were that of Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Shivam Dube, all excellent players of spin. Yet, the first question coach Jonathan Trott and Rashid himself had to face after the defeat was whether the skipper did the right thing by finishing his quota of overs within the 15th over.
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While Rashid was smiling sitting at the other end of the table, Trott categorically said that “it was definitely not the reason why Afghanistan lost the match”.
But that’s the predicament of Rashid in a team like Afghanistan, where he doesn’t always get the support to churn out consistent winning performances. In a way, he at times reminds you of Kapil Dev away from home in the late 1970s and through the 1980s.

When Trott was asked about Rashid’s role, the coach’s first reaction was: “How much time do we have? With all great players it’s often what they do off the field, that’s not in front of the cameras. The way they conduct themselves. Rashid is sitting here and he won’t mind me saying, setting high standards for themselves that take others with them and inspire other people is what he does,” Trott said.
While Rashid is probably the best spinner playing in this World Cup, the coach insists that he “never stops learning”.
“It’s his work ethic, desire, ability to listen and learn, and always wanting to grow and discover, try new deliveries, and push the boundaries of the game,” Trott enlisted the qualities that have made the 25-year-old a global superstar.
It’s true that Rashid sets an example for his teammates, but against India it wasn’t enough. There wasn’t enough help either with the bat or ball that could ensure a win for Afghanistan.

You could see Rashid was disappointed, but he tried not to blame his younger colleagues, who according to him “are still new to international cricket”.
We have seen time and time again, both in the IPL and international cricket, that despite the options Rashid has, he generally sticks to a plan. He was probably slightly frustrated on Thursday about the fact that his teammates were “trying too many things”.
“You don’t need to have so many plans, it is about one clear plan and sticking to it. In your desperation to try many things, if you end up giving three extra boundaries, that’s when the pressure starts to build, especially against top sides,” Rashid said.

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