Afghanistan all-rounder Gulbadin Naib was pleased with the team’s overall show at the T20 World Cup 2021, given the challenges right from the build-up after Taliban’s takeover of the country. Afghanistan went down to New Zealand by eight wickets in their last Super 12s match in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Afghanistan stepped into the T20 World Cup 2021 amidst chaotic situation back home with Taliban’s recent takeover of the country. However, the Mohammed Nabi led outfit put on some impressive shows throughout, and stood in contention for a semi-final berth until their final Super 12s fixture.
They romped past the defending champions West Indies by 56 runs in their second warm-up fixture, and outplayed Scotland and Namibia in the Super 12s. They ran Pakistan close in Dubai, before being undone by Asif Ali’s late magic, and were later undone by India. They went down by eight wickets in their last fixture against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, which marked their as well as India’s exit from the competition.
However, they’ve secured an automatic qualification for the next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, and Gulbadin Naib was pleased with the overall effort.
"In the end, everything, we came out here like three days before the tournament,” Naib said after the team’s defeat to New Zealand. “And it's great stuff for our team and our boys who deliver very quickly, and we did a lot of good things here.
"So also good thing for us, so we qualified for the next World Cup. We're in the top eight. But it's a lot of work now."
Naib marked wins against West Indies (warm-up) and Scotland as the major highlights, and admitted that the team needed to improvement to challenge stronger opponents like India, Pakistan and New Zealand.
"First of all, you look at the start of the tournament, especially for Afghanistan, we beat West Indies in the warm-up game, and also we beat Scotland in like a one-sided game,” said the former captain.
"And then if you look at the Pakistan side and India side, it's not easy. They're a big team. So they didn't give you a single chance. But we have a lot of work on our team.
"So it's not like it's over. So we can do a lot of work on the team. So like before that World Cup we didn't have much time to prepare our team."