IND vs AFG | Not playing regularly against 'big sides' hurts Afghanistan, says Rashid Khan after 66-run defeat vs India
Rashid Khan against India T20 World Cup 2021 on Wednesday|
| ACB Twitter
After India beat Afghanistan by 66 runs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Rashid Khan said that his team needs to play frequently against the 'big sides' as that would help them understand the opposition better. Afghanistan are placed 2nd in Group 2 at the T20 World Cup 2021.
Afghanistan won their opener against Scotland by a massive 130-run margin before going down by five wickets against Pakistan in a close contest. The bounced back again to beat Namibia by 62 runs before losing to India by 66 runs on Wednesday.
In the post-match press conference, leg-spinner Rashid Khan rued the fact that Afghanistan don't get to play frequently against the giants of world cricket. He also asserted that players in Afghanistan side will have to back themselves to deliver against a side like India.
“We know our skills but it is all about playing those big teams. We have to play with them more in a year in order to get used to them, understand their weaknesses and strong points. Then you can work on the areas where you come back stronger. As a team, we hardly get an opportunity to play with India and other big sides. We only play with them in the World Cups. So, as a side, you have that big-team pressure. We (Rashid, Nabi) play in the leagues with them but the rest of the players need that belief that we can deliver against the big sides. It is a leap that will come when we play more cricket with those teams," he said.
Despite two defeats, Afghanistan are are carrying the best Net Run Rate (NRR) in the Group 2 of Super 12s. Their NRR of +1.481 is higher than that of Pakistan who are the table-toppers after all their four games in the tournament so far.
Rashid admitted that Afghanistan focussed more on the NRR after losing early wickets in the run chase against India.
“Definitely, that is the kind of thing we had in mind. After losing a few wickets, as a team, we planned to go out there and score as many runs as possible, just to focus more on the run rate. That might play a big role in the last game, when we play against New Zealand."
The 23-year-old also gave an update on Mujeeb Ur Rahman's injury. The off-spinner has now missed two consecutive matches for his side in the ongoing ICC showpiece event.
"We don’t have any clarity about him. We hope that he is fit enough for the next game. As a player, you don’t know what’s going to happen in the next couple of days. He had a pulled wrist since he got injured. He bowled a couple of balls but I can’t answer anything at the moment. Let’s see what’s going to happen in the next couple of days.”
Afghanistan next face New Zealand in a must-win game on Sunday, November 7.