World Cup 2023: Spinners have been a strong asset for Afghanistan over the years. With players like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb ur Rahman, and Noor Ahmad, they possess one of the most formidable spin attacks in the current World Cup.
World Cup 2023
Thanks to the array of spin bowlers in their squad, Afghanistan is considered capable of causing upsets in this World Cup. However, their bowlers require support from the batsmen, as seen in their first match against Bangladesh where they lost six wickets to spinners Shakib al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz. In their upcoming match against hosts India, who boast a trio of world-class spinners in Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, and R Ashwin, Afghanistan will face a formidable challenge.
Nonetheless, Afghanistan’s captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi, is confident in his team’s ability to handle spin bowling, citing the rigorous practice they have against their own spinners during net sessions.
“We regularly practice against top-notch spinners like Rashid, Nabi, Noor, and Mujeeb,” he stated. “So, I believe our team is well-equipped to tackle spin bowling.”
Shahidi also downplayed the expected rivalry between Virat Kohli and fast bowler Naveen ul Haq, emphasizing the strong bond between Afghanistan and India.
“India is like a second home to us; we’ve played here, and the Indian people have shown immense love and hospitality to the Afghan team,” Shahidi said. “On-field rivalries happen in the heat of the moment, and it’s not specific to India and Afghanistan. We hold Indian cricketing legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in high regard, so past incidents do not affect our respect for Indian cricket.”
Kohli and Naveen had an on-field altercation during the IPL, which later spilled over onto social media. However, Shahidi refrained from commenting on the incident.
At the captain’s meeting in Ahmedabad, Shahidi stressed the importance of a balanced team effort, indicating that while they have a strong spin bowling attack, runs on the board are essential to winning games.
“We’ve emphasized the need for a solid batting unit. A good spin bowling attack alone cannot win matches. We must score runs to secure victories,” he explained.
In terms of opposition strategies against Rashid Khan, Shahidi stated that they focus on Rashid’s plans and tactics against the opposing teams, rather than how teams are playing against him.