Ahead of the final, Afghanistan star Rashid Khan was asked how he would tackle India’s top six batters, who have been in imperious form so far. Here is his blueprint to tackling India’s batters
The Indian cricket team has been at its marauding best coming into Sunday’s Cricket World Cup final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The hosts have won all their nine group stage matches before defeating New Zealand by 70 runs in the semi-final. One of the key reasons behind this has been the start that the batters have provided India.
Not surprisingly, there are three Indian batters in the top 10 batters in the run-scorers’ list. Virat Kohli leads the way with 711 runs. Indian captain Rohit Sharma is fifth with 550 runs while Shreyas Iyer is seventh with 526 runs. What is jaw-dropping is that Kohli has a batting average of 101.57 coming into the final. Meanwhile, Rohit’s runs in the 10 matches have come at an astonishing strike rate of 124.15.
Ahead of the final, Afghanistan star Rashid Khan was asked how he would tackle India’s top six batters, who have been in imperious form so far. Talking to Australian legend Adam Gilchrist and England star Michael Vaughan on the Club Prairie Fire podcast, Rashid was asked by the latter is there was one delivery from his quiver that he would bowl at the Indian top six batters to dismiss them.
Here is his blueprint to trick India’s top batters: “Rohit (Sharma), I would bowl the wrong one. I got him many times, getting leg before wicket, with that delivery. Same for Shubman (Gill), as he is stronger on the offside. So when the gap comes in as he is going for a shot at mid-off the wrong one will play a good role.”
Rashid added that to KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer too he would get with the wrong one. But when asked about Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav, he had different answers than the usual.
“Most of the time I have bowled to KL Rahul, he hasn’t picked me a lot. Always got him off my wrong ones a couple of times in IPL.
“When it comes to Virat (Kohli), same like Glenn Maxwell, the length you bowl to him is very important. He’s someone who likes finding the gaps, he’s not going to go after you hitting the big sixes. He’s going to find gaps. For him, it’s not about wrong one or leggie. It’s the length that will be the key!
“And when it comes to Surya, he sweeps a lot. So it’s only going to be the pace of the balls at him. I mostly bowl quicker, but to him, if you bring your pace down and bowl in the right areas, you’ll have success. Rather than keep mixing it up. Pace will be key against him,” added Rashid.
When India played Afghanistan in the group stage, India lost just two wickets as they chased down Afghanistan’s target of 273 in 35 overs. It was Rashid who picked up both wickets: of Rohit and Shubman.