IPL 2022 - "He Wants You To Give Your 100 Per Cent": Rashid Khan On Gujarat Titans Captain Hardik Pandya
Gujarat Titans bowling department will be led by Afghan spin wizard Rashid Khan, who has already made a name for himself in the league with his superlative performances for SunRisers Hyderabad in the past.
Gujarat Titans started their IPL journey on Monday with a match against fellow newcomers Lucknow Super Giants, which they won by five wickets. The Ahmedabad franchise have Hardik Pandya as captain and young batter Shubman Gill to lead the batting side of things. The bowling department will be led by Afghan spin wizard Rashid Khan, who has already made a name for himself in the league with his superlative performances for SunRisers Hyderabad in the past.
Ahead of the start of the IPL 2022 campaign, Rashid spoke with NDTV. Here are the excerpts from the chat.
Q) Rashid Khan, Thank you very much for joining us on the broadcast. Rashid, New season and new team. How does the new identity of Titans feel and how unique is it?
Rashid Khan: It feels good to be starting a new journey with a new team and new captain at Gujarat Titans, and I am looking for more. I am so excited, you know, to know each other, to know the new guys and to share the experience and to get their experience. The performance I have had in the last 5 years in IPL, I will try my best to keep that and continue in this new team as well and looking forward to the competition which starts soon and enjoy the game with the boys.
Q) Now this is a new franchise in the league. What makes the Gujarat team unique?
Rashid Khan: Well, to be honest pretty hard to say at the moment, because it is too early. We have a new captain in Hardik Pandya, someone who is very aggressive and who has so much love for this game. He is someone who wants you to perform and wants your 100% and same with every guy in the team. Exciting and new talent is there. The support we get from the coaching staff and from each and every player, that is something which I am really looking forward to. I want to do well in this big team as well and I think we just need to have the team keep things simple and just give 100% and enjoy the game.
Q) You have played under talismanic captain Kane Williamson, how different would it be playing under Hardik Pandya? And what kind of chats you are having with him and inspirations that you're drawing from him?
Rashid Khan: I am super excited. At first, I was excited to play with him in the same team. But now he is a captain and it's a big thing for me now, playing with him together. The good friend now is leading the team and I am so much excited just to learn from him. So many things, specially those two months will be big for me to pick his mind and see his preparation. And I think this is something which I am really looking forward to, and we, the other senior players who have played around the world, will try our best to support him as much as possible and go together as a team till the end and enjoy each and every game and keep learning from each and every game.
Q) You've been mentored by captains like Asghar Afghan and then Kane Williamson. One captain you did not manage to play under is MS Dhoni, but a tip that you could tell us that you got from any one of these guys that will stand you in good stead and that you've always remembered?
Rashid Khan: Definitely I think so many times I have got advices from couple of my my captains. One from Afghanistan. Asghar Afghan was someone in the initial part of my career, someone who really supported me when I was new in the team. He gave me support, which I needed that time and that has given me the freedom that I could just focus on my performance and not to think about too many things. He had told me to just go there and enjoy your cricket in whatever the skills you have just focus on that. And we just need those of your skills to be delivered in the ground. It doesn't matter whatever the result will come, but just need to enjoy your cricket. And it was the same from Kane Williamson. He also asked me to enjoy the game and I also got support from VVS Laxman. These are memories I will never forget.
Q) Do you have a new delivery for this season of IPL because we see bowlers experiment every season?
Rashid Khan: Well, at the moment, I think all the deliveries that I have bowled so far that is working for me and I think I just need to keep it simple for myself, you know, don't do so many experiments and I think it might affect my game. I do have some more deliveries, but I don't have that much control on it that I could bowl them in a game now. And I am looking forward, you know, just to have more practice on those deliveries in the nets and also in the longer format and then bringing them in the T20.
Q) Last few years, the sport has been tough. There have been troublesome situations in your country. You have not managed to see your family very often, you have stayed in bio bubbles and played cricket. How difficult has it been for you and what has really kept you sane and going?
Rashid Khan: It's pretty hard to be honest. Initially when we started playing it was so hard for me especially. I used to go a lot outside. I love shopping. I used to be in shopping centre every time when ever I had an off day and even after the practice session. But since the bio-bubble started, it made the things pretty hard and tough for each and every sportsman. But now you just get used to that. Luckily, we go to England and Australia where we don't have that kind of strict bubbles, but still you are restricted. It affects a player mentally. I hope this pandemic gets over soon and we return to normal routine.