Afghanistan, the newly crowned Test playing nation are all set to face India for the first Test match on 14th of June, 2018. Ahead of their historic inaugural Test match, Afghan captain Asghar Stanikzai made a bold statement saying his team’s spin attack is richer than that of India.
As quoted by ESPNcricinfo, Stanikzai said, “The whole world knows that [we have very good spinners in] Rashid Khan, Mujeeb [Ur Rahman], [Mohammad] Nabi, Rahmat [Shah], Zahir [Khan].”
“In Afghanistan, the brilliant thing is that a lot of the young talent that is coming through are spinners, because they all follow Rashid, they follow Nabi, so because of that our spin department is very strong from below. In my opinion, we have good spinners, better spinners than India,” he said.
Even Ahmed Shehzad also threw tough challenge to team India. The bulky batsman said, “It can definitely happen. You know what our spinners have been doing of late. Ireland played their [first Test] match against Pakistan, in Ireland’s conditions, and gave them a tough time. We are coming here and playing in India’s conditions, and that too against a team that plays spin very well. We will have a tough time, for us and for them too. It won’t be easy for either team. It will be a good match, Inshallah,” Shahzad said.
“Not just India, but even if you look at the whole world, our Rashid Khan is the No. 1 spinner,” Shahzad said.
“You can match him up against any bowler, and you’ll say, ‘yes, he’s better than him’, or ‘he’s as good as him. Mujeeb, Rashid, Nabi we also have Zahir Khan, who didn’t get to play for Rajasthan [Royals], but he’s also one such bowler – you’ll see next year [in the IPL], so Alhamdulillah we have very good spinners,” he added.
The rising superstar of Afghanistan Rashid Khan has been hailed with shower of appreciation from his counterpart Mohammad Nabi.
Nabi said, “He’s totally different from other leg spinners,” Nabi said. “He’s quicker in the air. When he bowls the wrong’ un and the leg break, it looks same when you play, and the most important thing is that the hand is very quick. Can’t judge easily.”
Therefore Nabi was supported by coach Phil Simmons. Simmons showed a whole different angle of Rashid Khan’s ability; said, “I don’t know about better than India.”
“I think Rashid is at a different level now, if he keeps improving, but we haven’t seen him that much in Test cricket. Well, we haven’t seen him at all in Test cricket, but in four-day cricket we haven’t seen him that much. So it’s a new frontier for him. I’m sure he will conquer it, but whether he will conquer it in the first game, we’ll have to see,” Simmons.