“As we have seen in the IPL, spinners have brought back their team in the game; I feel that will be same in the World Cup as well.”
“Conditions here are always good for spinners and it should be a spinners’ World Cup,” Rashid told The Cricket Monthly. “Doesn’t matter how wickets are prepared here, it is always helpful for the spinners. Spinners will play a huge role in this World Cup. As we have seen in the IPL, spinners have brought back their team in the game. I feel that will be same in the World Cup as well. The best spinners will bring their team back in the game and win it.”
Overall in both IPLs in the UAE, the spinners have played a dominant hand at each of the three venues: in Dubai they have taken 30.8% of the total wickets taken, 30.1% in Sharjah, and 32.1% in Abu Dhabi.
All the four spinners – Rashid, Chakravarthy, Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine – played a key role for their teams making scoring difficult on a gripping surface.
“On October 3, we played against KKR, they had around four spinners, all of whom bowled at an economy of 4-5 runs per over. Doesn’t matter whatever the kind of wicket is spinners are always effective in UAE conditions. At the same time we need to bowl well as well, it is not just enough to say everything will be done by the wicket. No, no, no.”
According to Rashid, Afghanistan, who are in Group 2 along with India, Pakistan and New Zealand, would need to do “lots of hard work” considering all their opponents in the Super 12s are “good players of spin”. Afghanistan have played 14 T20Is at the three venues in the UAE and have won all of them.
Rashid, who stepped down as captain on the eve of the World Cup, pointed out that for Afghanistan to do well this edition, the batters will have a big responsibility.
“As long as you have a good total, if it is a slow track, skiddy, as a spinner it is very, very helpful because you can show your skills there and you can get the wickets. In this World Cup if you bat well, we [Afghanistan] can beat any side.”
(The Rashid Khan interview will be published on October 20. In a long chat, Rashid talks about how he became a cricketer by accident, how he sharpens and polishes his best tool which is length, his grounded upbringing, stardom and type of batter that rattles him).
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
Pat Cummins eager for clarity over Justin Langer’s contract
The coach is not certain to get a new deal despite T20 World Cup and Ashes success
The future of Langer, who comes off contract in mid-2022 and has made it clear he is keen to continue, remains an unresolved talking point.
The former Test opener changed his ways, adopting more of a low-key role as Australia went on to win the Twenty20 World Cup and retain the urn. But there remains speculation Cricket Australia will opt to move Langer on.
Cummins, asked about Langer after Australia claimed an unassailable 3-0 lead in their five-Test series against England, bluntly replied that “his contract is up for renewal in a few months and we’ll deal with that then”.
He struck a more diplomatic note in Hobart, speaking after his four-wicket haul helped Australia claim a first-innings lead of 115 runs in the fifth and final Ashes Test.
“That’s above my pay grade. We’ll wait and see, it’d be nice to have clarity for everyone,” Cummins said. “But he’s been doing a fantastic job, we absolutely love JL.
“He’s been really great through the World Cup and the Ashes. Honestly, it’s not been a talking point at all within the camp.
“The plan has always been to chat about it after the Ashes, so the powers that be, I’m sure, will chat at some stage. But he’s been fantastic for us and the boys love having him around.”
CA chief executive Nick Hockley and high-performance boss Ben Oliver are yet to set a definitive timeline around the call on Langer, likewise a final decision on potentially splitting the role by installing separate white-ball and red-ball mentors.
But the growing expectation is the elephant in the room will be addressed soon after the Ashes series finale. Oliver noted last month that CA will take player feedback on board before resolving Langer’s future.
“Position in doubt? Influenced the culture and character of the team after the Cape Town debacle,” Waugh posted on Instagram. “Coached the team to a winning World Cup 20/20 and now to a commanding Ashes victory. Time to put the rumours and innuendo to rest. #respect #culture #character.”
“I don’t know what everyone’s waiting for,” Warne told Fox Cricket. “He should be signed up in my opinion because he’s done such a good job.
“We’re not inside the dressing room, so we don’t know all the inside-outs, but I think the only way we can judge a coach is from the performances and has Australian cricket got better? Is the better of cricket better domestically? Is there a group of players? There’s probably three or four players outside this squad now that could all play and that wasn’t there a couple of years ago.”
Australia do not have much of a break in their schedule after the Ashes with limited-overs matches against New Zealand and Sri Lanka from late January to mid-February.
That is then followed by the tour of Pakistan, Australia’s first to the country since 1998, which also falls within Langer’s current contract. There will be the need to split coaches during that period with a brief T20I series in New Zealand during March, the same situation that was set to occur last season before the South Africa tour was postponed.
Recent Match Report – South Z (BD) vs Cent Z (BD) Final 2021/22
Bowlers, Al-Amin shine as Central beat South by six wickets after bowling them out for 163
Central Zone 164 for four (Al-Amin 53 not out, Mizanur 39, Ahmed 3 for 32) beat South Zone 163 all out (Pinak 35) by six wickets
Asked to bat first, South Zone were bowled out for 163 runs in 48.5 overs. They gave away a good start as they slipped to 99 for four after Anamul Haque and Pinak Ghosh added 51 for the opening stand. Nahidul Islam’s 31 took them past the 150-mark.
Captain Mosaddek was later adjudged the Player-of-the-Match and the Player-of-the-Series for scoring 148 runs and taking six wickets in the tournament. Imrul Kayes was the only batter to score more than 150 runs in the competition while Soumya was one of the four bowlers to take seven wickets.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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