IND Vs. AFG: Star Spinner Missing – Can Afghanistan Handle India Without Rashid Khan?

- Cricket - January 11, 2024
IND Vs. AFG: Star Spinner Missing – Can Afghanistan Handle India Without Rashid Khan?
IND Vs. AFG: Star Spinner Missing – Can Afghanistan Handle India Without Rashid Khan?

Afghanistan’s star all-rounder Rashid Khan has been ruled out of the upcoming three-match T20I series against India as he is still recovering from a back surgery that he underwent in November last year. Rashid Khan, who is one of the best spinners in the world, has been a key player for Afghanistan in the shortest format of the game. He has also played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since 2017 and has impressed with his bowling and batting skills.

Rashid Khan suffered the back injury during the T20 World Cup in 2023 and had to pull out of the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia and the Mzansi Super League (MSL) in South Africa. He is currently travelling with the Afghanistan team in India, but is not fully fit to play. He is undergoing his rehabilitation with the team doctor and needs more time to regain his fitness.

Afghanistan captain Ibrahim Zadran confirmed Rashid Khan’s unavailability for the series and said that the team would miss him and struggle without him. “He is not totally fit. We will miss him in the series. We will struggle without Rashid but one should be ready for any kind of situation,” Zadran said in a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

Zadran also said that the rest of the team was in good shape and ready to take on India. He said that the players who had contractual issues with the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) had resolved them and were available for selection. These include Mujeeb Zadran, Naveen-Ul Haq, and Fazalhaq Farooqi, who are also part of the strong spin attack of Afghanistan.

The series against India is important for both teams as they prepare for the T20 World Cup in June this year. India will be led by Rohit Sharma, who is returning to the T20 format after 14 months. Virat Kohli, who stepped down as the T20 captain last year, will also be back in action. The series will be a chance for the Indian team to test their bench strength and find their best combination for the ICC event in Americas.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, will be looking to put up a tough fight against India and prove their mettle in the international arena. They have shown their potential in the past, especially in the T20 format, and have some talented players who can challenge any team. They will be hoping to overcome the absence of Rashid Khan and give a good account of themselves in the series.

The first T20I between India and Afghanistan will be played on Tuesday, January 11, at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. The second and third T20Is will be played on January 14 and 17 at the same venue.

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