Afghanistan bowler Rashid Khan is one of the most successful cricketers of his country. He proved his mettle by clinching 21 wickets in IPL 2018 while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad. The 19-year-old became the second highest wicket-taker in IPL 11 after Andrew Tye, who got 24 wickets in the season.
One of the most popular names in his country, Rashid Khan is the emerging star of the game. In an interview with Cricbuzz, Rashid spoke about getting diet conscious in the last one year and funniest character in Afghan team.
Are you conscious of your diet?
Exactly a year ago, I used to eat everything. There was no diet plan. Last year, when I was in West Indies playing in the CPL, I saw the Windies and they were all fit with six packs. I saw them and then I saw myself. Yes, I was performing well, everything was fine but I didn’t like my body shape. That’s when I decided that I’ll go on a proper diet and do proper fitness training. That bought quite a few changes as well.
And how it helped his performance?
This year, even you must have seen that I focused a lot on my fielding in the IPL. It’s something that is in my hand. I was trying to improve my fielding. Batting and bowling are based on luck but fielding is in my hand and I need to field well.
I have stopped eating roti, rice, sweets and oily food. I eat only barbeque. Even now, I eat only barbeque. I eat a lot of dry fruits, that is good for health.
Your friend Mohammad Shahzad says when he reduces weight, he fails to hit the shots.
(laughs) That must be his problem. I believe if you are fit, you can hit every shot. It’s not true that if your weight is less, you can’t hit the shots.
Who is a character in Afghanistan?
All of them are funny but the funniest of them all is Mohammad Shahzad. He’s like that.
Is there a batsman you fear bowling to?
I don’t think about the batsmen, I think about the wicket sometimes…. Why it’s not turning on this track, this is not happening, that is not happening. Regardless of the batsman, I feel that if I bowl in the right areas, everyone will have trouble facing me. On the other hand, any batsman can hit me on his day.
If the wicket is not supportive, any batsman can become too big for you. Even a tail-ender can hit you for 2-3 sixes. I don’t let any batsman play on my head.