Head coach Jonathan Trott feels despite losing against India at the World Cup, the match worked as a confidence booster for Afghanistan, who have started believing they can also win and dominate games. Enjoying their best-ever performance, Afghanistan have registered comprehensive wins of over three former champions — England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — and the Netherlands to keep alive their semifinal hopes.
“I think we saw a bit of form coming into the side against India. Obviously, we lost the game but then that gave us a bit of confidence,” Trott said after Afghanistan’s seven-wicket win over the Netherlands here on Friday.
After underwhelming performances against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Afghanistan batters have done well to put a score close to 300 (272) against India.
“I said we’d lost so many close games leading into the series against Pakistan and then in the Asia Cup. We just need to start 1-1 or 2 and we’ll get that confidence and belief and a bit of a spring in our step and that we can win those close games but also dominate games if we get the opportunity to,” Trott said.
Afghanistan, who are just outside the top 4 in fifth spot, play inform Australia and South Africa in their last two league fixtures.
“We need to improve on for the next game against Australia in Mumbai. But I saw a lot of good things as well that’s going to stand us in good stead going forward against the likes of Australia and South Africa in the next two games. Plenty to work on but also plenty to be pleased about,” the coach said.
It’s important to dovetail in a long tournament
The Afghans have been making changes to their bowling depending on the wicket.
“We’re lucky to have the quality of players to choose from. A lot of teams, you don’t have the option of playing four spinners, or the quality of the four spinners,” Trott said.
“It’s important to dovetail in a in a long tournament like this and it’s good to see the guys doing that. The way Noor (Ahmad) came in, I thought he bowled brilliantly today (Friday) as well, I should say. But he then didn’t play in Pune, it didn’t look like it was going to spin, and he was brilliant with it.
“As a player as well, it’s good to be able to learn from those disappointments, but then gets the opportunity today. But his mindset was so good that he got the opportunity. He didn’t sulk in Pune,” Trott added.
The Afghans have been enjoying a lot of support.
“We have support, we have a few IPL players, so there’s always interest in those players and support for them,” Trott said.
“But also – I can’t put a finger on why they like the Afghan boys. I think they’re fantastic cricketers and probably playing some good cricket. And that’s why fans are supporting them and watching them.”