The 20-year-old Afghan has somewhat led the mini-resurgence of leg spin in limited-overs cricket over the last few years.
Modelling his action on former Pakistani legspinner and idol Shahid Afridi, the similarities are discernible thanks to the finger spin he generates and the quick pace with which he bowls.
The googly he sends down is often more frequent than the natural legbreak, but equally as devastating, and his accurate, stump-to-stump bowling cuts off the run-scoring channels in equal measure.
Since making his One-Day International debut against Zimbabwe in October 2015, and his T20I debut against the same opposition late that month, Khan has become indispensable to his national side.
However, his international recognition rose when in February 2017 he fetched the highest bid for any Associate nation player ever, after which he eventually gained a 4 crore contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.
Khan was alongside Mohammad Nabi the first Afghan player to be selected in the IPL, but his success in India has led to further franchise contracts outside Asia, including in the T20 Blast with Sussex.
He took the first ever hat-trick in the Caribbean Premier League with the Guyana Amazon Warriors in September 2017, while his performances for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League has resulted in former Australian batsman Brad Hodge calling him “the greatest T20 player of the current generation.”
He has developed an unorthodox but highly effective batting technique at number eight, and his agility in the field highlights a cricketer ready to take Afghanistan to the next level.
“He is the best spinner in the world in this format. Mind you he’s got some batting skills,” was how Khan was described last year by Sachin Tendulkar, one of the very best. Khan has the talent to become just that.
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