Indian top-order batters might struggle against Rashid Khan

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safari
03 Nov 2021 | 01:40 AM
authorAnirudh Kasargod

Indian top-order batters might struggle against Rashid Khan

India face Afghanistan in a do-or-die match in Abu Dhabi and here are a few potential threats for them

It’s now or never for India as they fight for survival in the ongoing edition of the T20 World Cup against a team that has been romping over opponents for fun. Though Afghanistan lost against Pakistan, it wasn’t a defeat that would demoralize them. But, for India, it has been a World Cup to forget. Neither their batting nor their bowling has been up to the mark. In a desperate need to win, India will face a tough spin challenge. The magician in Rashid Khan and their wily powerplay spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman are India’s biggest threat. As we head into the match, here are some of the match-ups that could make a huge impact in this encounter.

Can Rashid weave his magic on Indian batsmen?

Playing in the Indian Premier League has helped Rashid learn a lot about the weaknesses of Indian batsmen. This is one of the reasons why he has had a great record against few of the best Indian batters. Among all the Indian batsmen, KL Rahul has been the worst casualty. In five T20 innings, the Indian opener has been dismissed three times at an average of 6 and has a strike rate of 60.

Even the experienced Rohit Sharma, has had his troubles against Rashid. In four innings, the leg spinner has had the better of Rohit twice at an average of 9.5 and strike rate of 118.8. To his worst, Rohit has struggled against leg spinners in T20s since 2019. In 31 innings against the bowling type, he has been dismissed 10 times at an average of 23.7, his worst average against a bowling type.

It isn’t just the top order, the middle-order batsmen, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant have also been amongst the worst hit victims. Hardik in his six innings against Rashid has got out two times at an average of 13.5 and strike rate of 73. On the other hand, Rishabh has averaged 38.5 in nine innings at a strike rate of 113.2. Considerably, Rishabh’s numbers against Rashid aren’t that bad compared to others.

Virat Kohli in his four innings against Rashid has been dismissed only once, but his strike rate is under 90. Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja haven’t had a dismissal against Rashid. However, Kishan (125.5) is the only Indian batter who has a strike rate of more than 120 against Rashid.

Before Rashid, India need to deal with Mujeeb

Before the Indian batsmen face the Rashid threat, they have to deal with another spin threat and that is Mujeeb. Though Mujeeb missed his previous match, the spin maestro is expected to make a comeback against India.


If India go with a similar batting order to their game against New Zealand, then Kishan will be in big trouble. As Mujeeb bowls most of his overs in the powerplay, Kishan will have to go up against him and his outcomes against the bowler have been really poor. In two innings against the mystery spinner, he has a 100 percent dismissal record and Kishan averages five and strikes at 76.9.

However, if India go with Rohit and Rahul as openers, there lies an advantage. One, Rahul would have played Mujeeb a lot in the nets with Punjab Kings and Rohit has a staggering record against Mujeeb. In two innings, Rohit hasn’t been dismissed to Mujeeb and has scored runs at a whopping strike rate of 216.7.

Above all these factors, India batsmen form in this edition of World Cup has been the biggest let-off. Scoring runs off spinners has been a real struggle in this edition for Indian batters. Their run rate of 4.9 against spinners has been the worst for a team in this World Cup and they have scored only three boundaries at a balls/boundary ratio of 32.

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India vs AfghanistanICC World Twenty20, 2021IndiaAfghanistanRashid Khan

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