Afghanistan’s captain Ibrahim Zadran has confirmed that their ace spinner Rashid Khan will not be available for the three-match T20I series against India starting from Thursday (January 11) in Mohali.
Rashid, who is recovering from a back surgery, is travelling with the team but is not fully fit to play.
“He is doing his rehab, and we are hoping that he gets fit as soon as possible. We will miss him in this series,” Zadran said on Wednesday.
Zadran admitted that Rashid Khan’s absence will be a big blow for his team, but expressed confidence in the other spinners in the squad.
“Without Rashid, we will struggle as his experience is invaluable, but even in his absence, we have got quality spinners in Mujeeb [Ur Rahman], [Mohammad] Nabi, Noor [Ahmad] and Qais [Ahmad]. All of them have played a lot of cricket, and we have trust in them,” he said.
The skipper also stressed on the need to improve the batting performance against a strong Indian side, who have recalled their top batsmen Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for the series. “We have quality spinners and seamers, but we need to improve our batting skills; we will try to be more aggressive in that area,” he said.
Zadran hoped that his team will carry forward the momentum from the World Cup, where they impressed with their spirited display. “We have played wonderful cricket in the World Cup. The Afghan people worldwide are expecting us to do well,” he said.
The second and third T20Is will be played in Indore and Bengaluru respectively.
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