Rashid Khan Calls For 'Frequent and Better' Tours For Afghanistan
Afghanistan are a fast improving team across formats, and that was proven with their win over Bangladesh in the Test series and their joint-winning effort in the T20I series.
But going by the current FTP, Afghanistan aren’t playing a lot of big teams in the coming years. Their next bilateral series against Bangladesh is in March 2022 with three ODIs and two T20Is.
Then they play Australia in two Tests and three ODIs in a span of three years. And against New Zealand they play only before the 2023 World Cup, that too only in an ODI.
This has irked skipper Rashid Khan, and he wants more frequent and better tour for the Afghani team.
"We should have longer series against Bangladesh, like have the main focus on 50 overs and Test matches," Rashid said at a press conference. "Cricket boards should think about it. There should be a three-match Test series. There's more room to learn and have different experiences. More 50 overs and Tests would be better for both nations."
Rashid went on to say that Afghanistan have hardly gotten chances to play quality fast bowling, that hampered their chances at the World Cup.
"We have played only twice against Australia, New Zealand and England in the last five years. If we played more against them, we could have known their strengths and weaknesses. It should be looked into. The best example is Bangladesh. They played a lot against South Africa and ended up having the best result against them in the World Cup.
“If we want to be a good side, we should play more against the top sides. Not one match in four years. These teams have four fast bowlers who bowl 140-plus. We play against Scotland and Ireland, and they hardly have a 140-plus bowler."
The eventual goal is to be able to play the World Test Championship, that Afghanistan are not a part of.
"We are quite sad not to be part of the World Test Championship, but I think all we can do right now is play good Test cricket, to prove that decision wrong. But at the same time, you can't put a side in the championship who have played only three Tests," he said.
Rashid, who was announced the skipper across formats, has been performing exceptionally well in the Tests too and wants to keep bowling to the best of his ability without getting bogged down by pressure of taking wickets.
"I never brought any difference in my bowling in any format. I try to do what I am capable of," he said. "I don't want to bring any changes to my bowling. If I bring a bit of change, I think it will affect my bowling.
"I always had one thing in mind in the Test match, that there will be a time when I won't get a wicket for 25 overs. There will be a time when I get three wickets in one over. Rather than putting extra pressure on myself, I should be mentally ready for this sort of thing."
Rashid also revealed how picking up brains of Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne, helped him succeed in Tests too.
"I asked Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne, superstars of Test cricket, what should my mindset be in a Test match. They both told me that I shouldn't change myself, and be cool and calm in every situation," he said.
"They said that I should just focus on bowling in the right line and length, rather than bring down my speed. They said that the quicker you bowl, it deceives the batsmen.”