Last Update on: April 23rd, 2019 at 11:12 pm
After taking giant strides in international cricket for the last 4-5 years, Afghanistan has now faced an abrupt pause.
Three consecutive defeats in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 has nearly ended their hopes of participating in the World Cup next year.
However, star leg-spinner Rashid Khan is confident of coming back positive in the next fixture.
A thin line of possibility exists for Afghanistan. They need to beat Nepal by a huge margin and want Nepal to do the same to Hong Kong.
In the process, they also would need Zimbabwe to beat Hong Kong. However, their loss to Hong Kong had made their chances more complicated.
We’ll come back positive:
Young sensation Rashid Khan is still confident of coming back in the tournament. Admitting they have played poor cricket in the last matches, Rashid Khan says they will come back positive.
“It’s really touch and go,” Rashid Khan, Afghanistan skipper, said. “If we can gain something in the Nepal game, and then something happens between Hong Kong and Nepal anything can happen. But the way we played in the last three games, it’s not what you expect from Afghanistan. But we’ll come back positive,” he added.
However, rain played a part in the game against Hong Kong, as they fell 30 runs short. Rashid feels the wickets of Nabi and Najibullah cost them the match. He also lamented his batting unit, as they fell to rise to the occasion.
“I think we were in the game until Nabi and Najibullah got out,” Rashid said. “But after losing Nabi, the rain came, and the match started to get away from us. Losing Nabi was crucial. The wicket was good for batting in the morning, but it got difficult later on. We weren’t expecting the clouds (in the afternoon). It was bad luck for us. It suddenly came in, and totally changed the game. But we didn’t bat well,” he added.
Afghanistan missed two crucial players:
Rashid pointed at the absence of two of their important batters – Asghar Stanikzai, who is recovering from his operation for appendicitis, and Mohammad Shahzad, who was handed a two-match ban for his angry behaviour after getting dismissed against Zimbabwe.
“Before the tournament, we lost the skipper,” the legspinner said. “And now we lost an aggressive batsman in Shahzad. Things just weren’t going our way. It was a big loss for us, Shahzad, because you know how good he is,” Rashid pointed.
Further, Rashid admitted they are capable of playing good cricket, as they did in the last two years.
“You can’t expect such a performance from Afghanistan, the way we have played in the last two years. The guys played some irresponsible cricket, which wasn’t expected from them. But it happens sometimes in cricket. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way. At times a match doesn’t go your way. Sometimes a tournament doesn’t go your way,” he concluded.
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