In the landscape of international T20 cricket, few stars shine as brightly as Afghanistan’s captain Rashid Khan, who, after an astonishing performance in the T20I series against Ireland, has vaulted up 4 places to seize the number 10 spot in the ICC men’s T20I bowler rankings.

Rashid, who recently came off an injury hiatus, has been instrumental in guiding Afghanistan to a series victory of 2-1 over Ireland. The leg-spinner’s exceptional control over his variations and boundless energy has resulted in a spectacular haul of 8 wickets across the series, boasting an impressive economy rate of just 3.75.

A record breaking patch

The series opener was particularly historic for Rashid, as he eclipsed Nawroz Mangal’s 14-year record for the best bowling figures by an Afghanistan captain in T20Is, ending with a menacing three-wicket spell. He continued this vein of superior form into the second T20I, where his 4 for 14 dismantled the Irish batting lineup and secured him the Player of the Series accolade.

While Rashid’s individual brilliance is well noted, it followed a pattern of success for the Afghan side, who had previously outplayed Ireland in the ODI series. However, the visitors from Ireland did clinch the lone Test match at the start of their tour.

Will it continue?

Afghanistan cricket fans will be delighted to know that the maestro spinner, Rashid Khan, will bring his magnetic charm and fierce bowling prowess to the Indian Premier League (IPL 2024), where he will don the colors of the Gujarat Titans, with the tournament set to get underway on March 22.

However, not all news was favorable for Afghanistan in the rankings update, as their promising wicketkeeper-batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz slipped to 22nd position in the batting rankings. Gurbaz’s form appeared to desert him during the T20I series, where he could only muster a total of 9 runs.

On the opposite end, Ireland’s Gareth Delany received a rankings boost, climbing 4 places to the 18th spot in the all-rounders ranking, demonstrating the constant ebbs and flows in the fortunes of international cricket.

Afghanistan’s latest triumph, underpinned by Rashid Khan’s remarkable resurgence, has stirred the cricketing world, proving yet again that the nation’s cricketing prowess continues to grow and challenge the established hierarchy of the sport. Rashid’s spectacle on the field not only elevates his personal standing but also serves as a beacon of excellence for his team as they steer through the international cricketing calendar with newfound confidence.

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