It feels good to see that Afghanistan is a favorite to qualify: Rashid Khan

Regular skipper Asghar Stanikzai will miss the initial stage of the tournament due an appendix operation.

Rashid Khan will lead Afghanistan in the qualifiers. (Cricket Australia)

Afghanistan will be one of the strongest teams to qualify for the main round of the ICC U19 World Cup in England. However, an untimely operation to their regular skipper Asghar Stanikzai has ruled him out of the initial phase of the tournament. 

On the other hand, it has given a great opportunity to Rashid Khan to lead his side in the knockout tournament.  "It feels good to see that Afghanistan is a favourite to qualify," said the world's number-one ranked ODI bowler, adding: "I think we should show it on the ground, it's not only on paper that we should look good. 

"We should give 100 percent on the ground and deliver. The result is not in our hands but we can only give 100 percent on the ground and play positive, believe in ourselves, just go in and enjoy."

Rashid wants his team to take one step at a time, with the initial focus on the Super Six stage. "We should take one by one - each game, not worry about qualifying for the final. We should finish the table having four points, it will be very handy in the next round. We have to take every match seriously. We have to play good cricket against every team. Hopefully, it will go well and we will get four points and go to the next round" he said. 

Recently prior to the IPL auctions, the SRH franchise used the RTM card to retain him among one of the three including Bhuvneshwar Kumar and David Warner. A renowned face all around the world in T20 franchise cricket, its time for Rashid Khan to take his game a few notches up and help Afghanistan make it to the main draw of the ICC World Cup 2019. 

Competing against the likes of West Indies, Zimbabwe, UAE  and the likes, it will be interesting to see how Rashid Khan lives up to the new challenge at such a young age. 

By Anshuman Roy - 27 Feb, 2018

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