Afghanistan will be without their star spinner Rashid Khan for the upcoming three-match Twenty20 series against India, but captain Ibrahim Zadran is confident his team has the experience and talent to step up in his absence.
Rashid, who underwent lower-back surgery in November, remains part of the traveling squad but won’t be risked on the field. “He is not totally fit (but) he is travelling with the team,” Zadran said. “We hope he gets fit soon.”
While acknowledging Rashid’s importance, Zadran emphasized the team’s depth: “Without Rashid we will struggle but not that much. His experience is important for us but this is cricket, you should be ready for any kind of situation.”
Afghanistan boasts a formidable spin attack even without Rashid, with Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, and the veteran Mohammad Nabi all capable of wreaking havoc with the ball.
The series against India, with both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli back in the fold, serves as a crucial warm-up for the T20 World Cup in June. Facing a strong home team on their turf presents a significant challenge, but Zadran sees it as an opportunity: “Playing against India on their home soil is a difficult task, but we came here to play well against them and show our skills.”
Afghanistan’s impressive showing at last year’s ODI World Cup, where they defeated England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands, has raised expectations. Zadran is undeterred, embracing the pressure and promising positive cricket: “Not only Afghanistan people are expecting lots of things, but all around the people are expecting (a) lot of things from us nowadays, because we played a wonderful World Cup.”
With Rashid sidelined, the spotlight falls on Afghanistan’s other talented players to prove their mettle against a formidable Indian team. Whether they can pull off an upset or not, their determination and skill promise a thrilling series for cricket fans across the globe.
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