Rishabh Pant and Rashid Khan (Getty Images)
KOLKATA: Premier Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan on Tuesday said India wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant has all the shots in the book and it is not easy to bowl to a batsman like him.
“I have played with him at the U-19 level and he was always explosive,” No. 1 ranked T20 bowler Rashid said during an Instagram Live chat with India leggie Yuzvendra Chahal.
“He has every shot in the book. It becomes difficult to bowl to batsmen who have all the shots in the book,” said the 21-year old Rashid.
Pant, 22, has often been criticised for not delivering with the bat on a consistent basis and also faltering behind the stumps. Former greats of the game like Yuvraj Singh have time and again backed him, saying the dashing left-hander needs to be backed.
Asked by Chahal about how he bowls to hard-hitting West Indies batsman like Andre Russell, Rashid said: “I try to bowl back of a length to them. I try to take them to the back foot. They need to be confused, bowl them wrong uns’, leg spinners and mix it up. I never bowl full to them. You need to bowl back of a length.”
Rashid also said he used to follow Anil Kumble and Shahid Afridi a lot while growing up because of their brisk nature of spin bowling.
“I used to follow Anil Kumble, Shahid Afridi a lot. I always liked bowling at a fast pace. I have a quick run up also.”
Rashid, who has so far played four Tests, 71 ODIs and 48 T20Is for Afghanistan, added that he started taking bowling seriously towards the end of 2014.
Rashid and Chahal also made their combined India-Afghanistan team.
The XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rahmat Shah, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya/Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.