Rashid Khan is arguably the best leg-spinner going around and many prominent batsmen worldwide have become victims of his mysterious deliveries. From a turning leg-break to a deceiving googly, Rashid has many variations up his sleeves and despite the modern-day technology and high-tech cameras, not many batsmen have been able to pick him with precision. Even the talismanic MS Dhoni has fallen prey to the Afghanistan star.
Khan shattered Dhoni’s timbers during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 Qualifier 1 match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings. Although SRH lost that contest by two wickets, Khan received massive praises for piercing the defenses of the CSK skipper. The star leg-spinner bowled a ‘wrong’un’ which Dhoni couldn’t read and his stumps were disturbed. Recalling the dismissal, Khan said dismissing the veteran cricketer was a dream come true.
When Michael Hussey’s advice didn’t work for Dhoni
“I bowled to him, I got his wicket. It was a dream for me to get the wicket of MS Dhoni. You know how good he is against the spinners,” Rashid said while talking to Harsha Bhogle in a video for Cricbuzz. Bhogle then went onto narrate a story of that dismissal, recalling how CSK batting coach Michael Hussey’s advice proved costly for Dhoni.
Apparently, Hussey had analyzed Rashid’s variations ahead of the Qualifier game. He subsequently learnt that Khan’s grip is wide when he bowls leg-spins while he keeps the fingers close while delivering googlies. With the former Australian batsman learning the theory on the eve of the game, he was skeptical to talk about it with the players. He eventually sent a video to players, explaining his analysis.
The lesson didn’t really prove fruitful for Dhoni as he walked back after scoring just nine runs of 18 deliveries. Bhogle then revealed that the wicketkeeper-batsman went to Hussey and said “next time I’ll play him the way I want to play.”
Responding to this, Rashid Khan revealed that he doesn’t have much problem in bowling different variations with different grips. The 22-year-old also asserted that he doesn’t pre-plan about his deliveries. In fact, he only decides which delivery to bowl after crossing the umpire in the run-up.