While they are not yet there in terms of constantly troubling the top teams, Afghanistan have gained respect in one-day cricketing circles with their enthusiasm and passion.
Afghanistan also have produced some good cricketers in the recent times, with the latest addition to that impressive list being Rashid Khan, a young leg spinner with immense talent.
In his short career, Khan has become an integral part of Afghanistan side with some mind-boggling numbers. While the top eight nations are battling for the Champions Trophy, Afghanistan are taking on the West Indies, and in the first ODI between the nations, Khan claimed 7/18 in a crushing win for his side.
The West Indies batsmen were clueless and struggled to pick his variation in an abject capitulation in the first ODI. Khan also bowled brilliantly in the second ODI, which his side lost, to pick up three more Windies wickets.
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His brilliant performance was the fourth-best ODI figures in the history of the game, with Chaminda Vaas the only bowler to claim eight wickets in an innings.
At just 18 years of age, Khan has played 28 ODI games, claiming 63 wickets, with an amazing average of 14.74. These numbers may be skewed due to lack of games with the top nations, but are still remarkable.
Khan is an extremely accurate spinner with a great googly to boot.
Playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL this season, Khan’s 17 wickets was second only to Bhuvneshwar Kumar for their club.
Afghanistan, as a cricketing nation, is still in its infancy, but having stars like Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi will surely help them to grow.
The series against West Indies might not get much media attention, but it’s an important series for Afghanistan, as they now stand a chance to actually win a series against a Test-playing nation.
Khan is one of the best leg spinners in world cricket at the moment, and he surely can become the best with more exposure and games against top cricketing nations.
What do other cricket fans think of this bowling? How good is he compared to other spinners around the world?