Afghanistan suffered two crushing defeats to Bangladesh and India to start the season, but against England they regained their rhythm, pulling off a surprise victory by 69 runs to record their second-ever World Cup victory.
When Afghanistan plays Pakistan in the ODI World Cup on Monday at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, it will not only be a crucial match for both teams but also a slightly competitive one.
The spin bowlers of the Hashmatullah Shahidi-led team are their main focus, and the Chepauk surface is renowned to help the tweakers. The Afghans have all they need to pull off yet another upset at this World Cup, led by the seasoned Rashid Khan who will work in tandem with Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi.
Afghanistan, however, is much more than simply its spinners, according to coach Jonathan Trott, who feels that cricket is a team sport.
Only two or three people are actually playing a game with spinners. Importantly, the other eight players must also participate in the game. Before the game against Pakistan, Trott stated, “Winning games is everyone’s responsibility, not just the spinners.
Certain batters have to chase down a total, while other batsmen have to score runs. Therefore, yeah, the spinners are crucial, and making our pick is essential for the match, but it takes a collective effort,” he continued.
Afghanistan had suffered two crushing defeats to Bangladesh and India to start the World Cup, but against England, they regained their groove and won the quadrennial finale by a margin of 69 runs.
But in their most recent match, which took place in the same stadium as their upcoming match against Pakistan, the ninth-ranked ODI team was badly embarrassed by New Zealand, losing by an astounding 149 runs. Afghanistan was severely harmed by five missed catches and a failure to recognise the characteristics of the pitch.
Trott added, “Obviously dropped catches don’t help, especially when you win the toss and bowl first,” in reference to his team’s most recent defeat. You wish to exert pressure on the opposition. We had the chance to do that with New Zealand, and at one point, I believe we had them for about 115 for four as well.
We allowed them to escape, you know. He continued, “There are things you could do better and things you’d like to do differently, and we’ll be looking to do that tomorrow.”
Pakistan, on the other hand, has also encountered difficulties after losing to England and India in back-to-back heartbreaking fashion. However, Trott underlines that the current form will not significantly affect the game at hand.
We will be aiming to do that tomorrow. Our usual strategy is to immediately put the opposition under strain. Form doesn’t really matter when we play Pakistan, in my opinion. In terms of the rivalry and the intensity, there are a lot of other factors that go into the game.
Thus, we are aware that the Pakistani team will be fiercely focused on winning tomorrow and hoping to end their two-game losing streak. But once more, that should be beneficial because we want to win as much as they do,” the 42-year-old stated.