SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) leg-spinner Rashid Khan on Sunday said that bowling to Virat Kohli is a “proud moment” and he enjoys the challenge of bowling to someone of his his stature as it brings out the best in him. He also said that he can give his best performance with the bat in hand during the death overs of an innings. SRH will face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their opening match of IPL 2020 on September 21 at the Dubai International Stadium.
“I think I always have the thing in my mind, whenever there are three or four overs left in the innings, I think I can give the best performance with the bat. It depends on how the situation is, when I play the Big Bash, I have been told by the coaching staff as to how I need to go after the 15 overs mark. When you get such a positive response from coach and captain, it is really good,” Rashid replied to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Sunday.
“I should not be thinking much about I can bat, I should just focus on what I can do in the entire match, I will try my best to do well for the team,” he added.
Talking about his battle with Virat Kohli in the upcoming match against RCB, Rashid said: “I think whenever you are bowling to anyone, you are under pressure. Virat is a world-class player in all three formats, I love it when somebody like him is batting against me, it is the best competition and you want it as a bowler, I will enjoy bowling to him, it will be a proud moment bowling to him. As a bowler, I will try to bowl the best deliveries.”
The 22-year-old spinner also said that he has not developed any new deliveries for the upcoming tournament and his focus would just be to remain consistent for the Hyderabad-based franchise.
“I have been working hard on all my deliveries, I haven’t developed any new delivery to a 100 per cent so I cannot afford to try new balls in a match like situation, I have been working hard, bringing new balls to a game would be hard for me. I need to be smarter compared to the last few years. The more consistent I bowl, it will help me,” said Rashid.
“Spinners will be key in this competition as it goes on, wickets might get better for the spinners as the tournament progresses, the grounds are bigger as well and that helps as a spinner. Sharjah is a small ground but the wicket would be good for the spinners,” he added.
Rashid was last seen in action for the Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 and he has to come to UAE from a bio-secure bubble.
Talking about his extended stay in a bio-secure bubble, Rashid said: “Living in a bubble is something new, it is a requirement, you have to follow rules if you want the tournament to go ahead smoothly, it has been tough as a player, you have to be strong mentally. We are used to it now and we spent 15 days in quarantine when we went to play CPL, luckily we just had six days of quarantine in the UAE, we are happy that cricket is back. We need to focus on what we need to do on the ground. It hopes that bubble life does not stay longer and we go back to normal soon.”
Lastly, Rashid was quite impressed by the crowd noise technology used by the IPL organisers and the spinner said that it will help players to remain fresh in the middle.
“Playing without a crowd was a bit tough in the CPL, I was reminded of club cricket initially, the crowd noise helps you on the ground, the best idea from the IPL organisers has been to have crowd noise to keep players fresh in the middle. The crowd gives you extra energy in the ground but we know they are watching us from television,” said Rashid.