Mohali: Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan will miss the three-match Twenty20 series against India due to injury, but the team has plenty of experience in reserve, skipper Ibrahim Zadran said on Wednesday.
Rashid, a leg-spinner with 347 international wickets across formats, underwent lower-back surgery in November, but remains part of the travelling squad, which will play the opener on Thursday in Mohali.
“He is not totally fit (but) he is travelling with the team. We hope he gets fit soon,” Zadran told reporters.
Experience is important
“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.”
Rashid, 25, is a pillar of a world-class Afghan spin attack that also includes Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad and Mohammad Nabi.
The three matches are a tune-up for this year’s T20 World Cup in June and Afghanistan will be up against a formidable home side, with skipper Rohit Sharma and star batsman Virat Kohli both back in the shortest format team.
“Playing against India on their home soil is a difficult task, but we came here to play well against them and show our skills,” said Zadran.
“We have lots of good T20 players, all our boys are playing good cricket, so I am sure they will play well.”
Impressive show in World Cup
The cricketing minnows put up an impressive show in last year’s ODI World Cup in India with victories over England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands.
Zadran, a 22-year-old opening batsman, said fans’ raised expectations will motivate the team to elevate their performance.
“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,” he said.
Zadran said the team hoped to “play positive cricket and show our skills on the field”.