IPL 2023: Gary Kirsten helped me with batting, says Afghan spinner Rashid Khan

In 396 T20s, Rashid has scored 1,943 runs at an average of 12.53 and a strike rate of over 142

By ANI

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Gujarat Titans' Rashid Khan. — AFP
Gujarat Titans' Rashid Khan. — AFP

Published: Thu 20 Apr 2023, 3:56 PM

Last updated: Thu 20 Apr 2023, 3:57 PM

Star Afghanistan and Gujarat Titans spinner Rashid Khan said that the batting coach Gary Kirsten helped him a lot in his batting and he is looked as a proper all-rounder in the side.

In an interaction, Rashid talked about GT's IPL campaign so far, Yash Dayal's final over against KKR's Rinku Singh, the impact player rule and reaching the 100-game mark in IPL.

"My experience with Gary Kirsten have been good. He helped me with my batting. Ashish (Ashish Nehra, the head coach) told me that I am with the side as an all-rounder and I will get chances to bat as well," said Rashid to the media.

In 396 T20s, Rashid has scored 1,943 runs at an average of 12.53 and a strike rate of over 142. He has one fifty in the format, with the best score of 56 not out. In IPL, he has delivered many match-winning cameos for GT as well.

On his side's IPL campaign so far, Rashid expressed happiness with the cricket they have played, though admitting that some mistakes cost them wins in two matches.

"The matches have been great for us since we are among the top-three, top-four teams in the points table. In two matches, we could have won but failed to do so. But last year, we won the matches which were not in our hands. This is T20 cricket, you should be ready mentally for this. These two games should not affect our upcoming matches. We played good cricket in the matches we lost, but we made mistakes. We have learnt from it and we are looking forward to rectifying them in future," said Rashid.

On taking a hat-trick, something which Rashid has done on an international level and in T20 leagues worldwide, Rashid said that he does not put pressure on himself to take a hat-trick, rather he enjoys his bowling and focuses on bowling in the right areas.

Talking about the support shown by the team to Yash Dayal, who was on receiving end of Rinku Singh's five straight sixes during the match against KKR in the final over during a 205 run chase, Rashid said that the team has supported him and these things are part and parcel of the sport.

"This happens in cricket. In 2016, Ben Stokes was hit for four sixes in an over (In T20 World Cup final against West Indies), and people have been hit for six sixes in an over. But the team supported him, especially Ashish Nehra, Hardik and the seniors. Rinku played good shots and did not spare even the good balls. It was his day. It could have been someone else, even me, who could have got hit with those five sixes. It was just a bad day for us, a good day for KKR. All we can do is move on. We have not discussed it since then," said Rashid.

On the impact player rule, Rashid said that it poses a danger to all-rounders and they have to be 70 per cent in one skill and 30 in the other to be utilised properly, rather than being 50-50 or 60-40 per cent in their skill set.

"But if you have really high skillset, like Sam Curran, Ben Stokes and Hardik, you can get to play no matter what," added Rashid.

On his IPL journey so far, which is nearing 100 matches, Rashid said that it is good for him as an overseas bowler to be close to this milestone.

"It is a big deal as you reach here after doing well in other leagues. But performing here, staying here for a long time is a big challenge. It would be a proud moment for Afghanistan cricket," said Rashid.

In 97 IPL matches so far, Rashid has taken 123 wickets and scored 324 runs with the bat in 16 innings. He has represented Sunrisers Hyderabad from 2017-2021 before making his debut for GT in 2022.

GT will take on Lucknow Super Giants in their next match at Lucknow on Saturday. So far, with three wins and two losses, the side is at fourth position in the points table with six points.

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