Tales of Afghanistan maestro Rashid Khan’s mastery of spin have long been a part of cricket discussions. However, another important aspect of his game has often gone under the radar. In the TATA IPL, Rashid has displayed remarkable application with the bat in the lower-middle order. 

The tag of a finisher goes hand-in-hand with the name Rashid Khan these days. The Afghan maestro proved this once again with his batting display against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur that sealed the deal for the Gujarat Titans. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans)


Rashid storm in Jaipur

Coming in to bat at 157 for 6, where the Titans still needed 40 off 15 balls, Rashid went all guns blazing to see his team home. His winning knock of 24 off 11 deliveries included four boundaries, the last of which sealed the third victory of the season for the Titans. Rashid also shone with the ball as he took the crucial wicket of Jos Buttler, ending with match figures of 1/18 from his quota of 4 overs. 

This game was another reminder of his versatility. Last season was a prime example of Rashid turning things around for the Titans lower down the order. 

Redefining his role in IPL 2023

Having not had many opportunities to prove his ability with the bat in earlier seasons, the 25-year-old made the most of the chances he got in the 2023 TATA IPL. Rashid finished the season with an average of 32.50 and an astonishing strike rate of 216.67. His quick cameo of 10 from 3 in the final of last year's competition against CSK helped the Titans post a total of 214. Another Rashid cameo of 30 from 16 balls came against the same opposition last season, where he hit 3 fours and 2 sixes. 

Rashid perhaps stood the tallest against Mumbai Indians’ bowling line-up last season when he scored an unbeaten 79 off 32 deliveries. The Wankhede crowd witnessed the Afghan storm that evening. He smacked the ball to all corners of the ground. His innings with the bat included 3 fours and 10 huge sixes. 

Making every opportunity count

The hallmark of Rashid’s batting has been his ability to stay till the very end and finish things off for his side. The 2022 season saw Rashid do exactly the same for the Titans in a couple of matches. Batting second and in a spot of bother, Rashid stood tall against CSK and scored a match-winning 40 off 21 deliveries to see his team over the line. 

A similar cameo from Rashid was seen just two games earlier in the same season against SRH. Chasing a target of 196, the Titans saw a couple of wickets fall in quick succession during the 16th over of the game. Rashid came onto bat when the score was 140 for 5 from 16 overs. Still needing 56 runs from 24 balls, Rashid decided to take matters into his own hands. He took after the bowling from the word go to score another quickfire 30 runs off 11 balls. Staying till the end, he won the game for his side by hitting a last ball maximum off Marco Jansen. That victory propelled Rashid’s role as a finisher in the team, which also saw him batting higher up the order when big hitting was required thereafter. 

A unique talent, Rashid Khan will surely be looking to replicate his past heroics and aid the Gujarat Titans cause.