Rashid Khan has a fast bowler’s mindset in a spinner’s body with an uncompromising attitude when it comes to ripping his googlies and leg-breaks off the surface at nearly 100 kmph.
At 23, the Afghan spinner is the most sought-after T20 freelancer on the global league circuit with 436 wickets in 312 games.
Having started the season with an impressive 1/27 for Gujarat Titans, Rashid is extremely hopeful that he can replicate his Sunrisers Hyderabad form for the Hardik Pandya-led franchise.
So is Rashid an aggressive fast bowler or ‘scientist’ ready to pull off new tricks?
“I am a spin-fast bowler because of the pace at which I bowl. It is very hard to spin the ball at that pace and for that I think that it requires a different kind of skill-set,” Rashid said.
“The speed at which I bowl is somewhere between 96 kmph to 100 kmph. It is hard to generate turn at that pace but I would rather bowl at that speed than bring it down to 70 to 75 kmph.
“I have always been a big fan of bowling quick leg spin. I have just been trying different experiments with my bowling in the nets and it’s really helping,” he added.
‘mystery’ is in consistency
The term ‘mystery spinner’ is a loosely used jargon to describe any slow bowler that batters find difficult to read over a consistent period of time.
“I don’t always consider myself a leg-spinner because, spinners use a lot of wrists and I don’t use my wrists that much. I just use top of my fingers and so I am a finger spinner as well in that sense,” he said.
The ‘mystery’ comes from consistency of being able to hit the right length which can sow seeds of doubts in a batter’s minds.
“It’s all about, being more consistent with line and length and whatever you are bowling — be it flipper or leg-break. As long as you have the good control over your skills and can bowl in right areas, it doesn’t matter, if there is an element of mystery or not.
“If you hit the perfect length time and again, anyone can become a mystery bowler. My length on which I have worked hard makes me different from other leg-spinners.”
For Rashid what has stood out for him is having that mindset where he is ready to deliver for the team in any given situation.
“Consistency is in having that kind of mindset. Yes, that I am capable of delivering it in every stage and hardwork and belief in skill sets is something I have always had,” he said.