Afghanistan confident of chasing big totals, not over-reliant on bowlers: Rashid Khan

04:40 PM Jun 03, 2024 | PTI |

Georgetown (Guyana): Afghanistan batters have developed skills and confidence of chasing down big totals and the team has ceased to rely on their bowlers for pulling off favourable results, captain Rashid Khan expressed on Monday.


Afghanistan, who have relied on their world-class spinners more often than not, have been bolstered with the rise of the explosive Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran and Azmatullah Omarzai.

“That is something in the past. We were struggling a little bit in the batting area. Earlier, the bowlers would do a lot more and help us win the games,” Rashid said on the eve of Afghanistan’s T20 World Cup opener here against Uganda.

“Later on, we got those youngsters — especially from Under-19 — the way they came up to the national side, the way they have worked hard and got the opportunity to play for Afghanistan at a very young age, and then start exploring all around the world (while) playing the leagues, where they got better and better,” he added.

Rashid feels with a mix of talent, skills and the right mindset, anything is possible. “We have that kind of batting line-up where we can say, ‘it’s fine if there is 200 as well on the wicket’,” he said.


“We have that kind of ability, skills and talent where we can express (all) that on the ground and chase. T20 cricket is all about the mindset. As long as you have the right mindset and belief in there that we can do, anything is possible.”

Afghanistan had their best-ever outing at the ODI World Cup in India last year when they trumped former champions Pakistan, England and Sri Lanka while running close eventual champions Australia.
“We’re just focusing on one game at a time and making sure we do the right things and take the right decisions at the right time. That’s something I think is going to help us, and (we) don’t (need to) think about the next round a lot. That’s something which is an extra pressure I feel like to be as a player.”

With slow pitches expected in the West Indies, many have picked Afghanistan to make the semifinal given their arsenal of high-class spinners.

Rashid is delighted that Afghanistan are not considered minnows anymore.

“They have mentioned Afghanistan is going to be there for semis. We take that as a very positive sign. Before, it used to be hard for us to qualify. Now, to be (in the) nomination, to be there in the top four, it’s big for us. But for us, we don’t look to those things a lot. It’s all about how we’re going to be there in the ground, delivering.

“We were very near in the last World Cup as well (that we wanted) to be in the semis,” he added.

Several Afghans feature in the Caribbean Premier League and have an idea of how the pitches would behave but Rashid tends to look at it differently.

“We have those players who played recently here in the CPL, they (have) got that experience. We share that experience with the boys. But I think in ICC (events), you always expect something different.”

“You never know what’s going to be the behaviour of the wicket. You have to react to that. You shouldn’t be someone (who is) already having in the mind, this is how it’s going to be (or) this is how it’s going to swing, spin, things like that. But for us, it’s like we’re well prepared.”


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