Monday, July 15, 2024

T20 World Cup: Our batting lineup can chase 200 runs, says Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan


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Shillong, June 3: As Afghanistan prepares for their T20 World Cup 2024 opener against Uganda, captain Rashid Khan believes the team’s batting has matured to the point where chasing a target of 200 in a T20I is no longer daunting.



Afghanistan had excelled in all departments as they confident win over Scotland in Trinidad in their warm-up fixture.


“In the past, we were struggling a little bit in the batting area. Earlier our bowlers would do a lot more and help us win the games. Later, we got those young batters, especially from the Under-19 cricket, and the way they came up to the national side, and the way they have worked hard, they got the opportunity to play for Afghanistan at a very young age and then start exploring all around the world, playing leagues where they got better and better,” Rashid said on the eve of Afghanistan’s tournament opener against Uganda.


“I think we have that kind of batting line-up where we can say it’s fine if there is a target of 200 as well on a wicket. We have that kind of ability and skills and talent that we can express on the ground and chase that. T20 cricket is all about the mindset. As long as you have the right mindset, and you have the belief that we can do, anything is possible.


“The other thing is the actual cricket. I think we have played enough cricket in the past couple of years where our skills have got better and better. And we have been challenging the opposition,” he added.


Afghanistan finds itself in Group C, along with West Indies, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda. The top two teams from this group will advance to the Super 8s, and many experts believe Afghanistan are poised to be one of them.


Rashid acknowledged the growing expectations and said, “Yeah, a few people have mentioned Afghanistan is going to be there for semis. We take that as a very positive sign. Earlier, it used to be hard for us to even qualify. And now to be nominated to be there in the top four, I think it’s a big thing for us,” he said.


However, Rashid emphasizes that the team is not getting carried away. Their focus remains on the present, taking each game as it comes. “It’s all about how we’re going to be there on the ground, delivering. We were very nearly in the last [ODI] World Cup semis as well. We were just one game away from being in the semis and that’s where I feel the belief started that nothing is impossible for us as a team.”


Preparation has been key for Afghanistan as they arrived early in the Caribbean and held a two-week preparatory camp. Rashid also complemented the experience many players gained in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).


“Well, I think preparation has been great so far. A couple of weeks back, we had a domestic T20 competition, which really helped the guys to get the kind of preparation they need as a player and as a team. And then we were here two weeks earlier as well. So we got the preparation we wanted as a team.” (IANS)


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