Rashid is at a different level now, if he keeps improving

The Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai has said that his team has better spinners than India for test match cricket. While there is no doubt about the amount of talent in the Afghanistan spin department, it’s still a hugely controversial statement considering the fact that Afghanistan is yet to make its debut in the longest format of the game.

Afghanistan has only recently got test match status from ICC and will play its first test match against India in Bengaluru starting from 14th of June. The performance of Afghanistan spinners in other formats of the game has been exceptional, especially of Rashid Khan who is arguably the best spinner in the world at the moment in T20 cricket, but limited-over cricket and test cricket are two different kettle of fish.

While Rashid can prove to be handy with the red ball too, he has not yet done so which is why to call him better than the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in test cricket is a bit of an overstatement.

What happens in limited-over cricket is that the batsmen don’t have time to have a good look at Rashid before playing attacking cricket against him. But in test cricket, it will be a different ballgame. The batsmen can take their time and play more sedate which will make it challenging for Rashid to fetch dismissals with the same frequency as he does in limited-over cricket. This is exactly what the Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons also had to say when he was asked about the charismatic leg spinner.

“I think Rashid is at a different level now, if he keeps improving, but we haven’t seen him at all in test cricket. So it’s a new frontier for him. I am sure he will conquer it, but whether he will conquer it in the first game, we’ll have to see.” Simmons was quoted saying by NDTV.

Leave a Reply