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Hope Afghanistan's victory inspires another generation: Jonathan Trott

Last updated on 24 Oct 2023 | 05:57 AM
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Hope Afghanistan's victory inspires another generation: Jonathan Trott

Babar Azam-led Pakistan succumbed to their third straight loss on a historic night in Chennai

Afghanistan pulled off yet another incredible victory at the ICC World Cup, pipping Pakistan by eight wickets in Chennai on Monday (October 23). They had already beaten England previously and now, for the first time, have registered two wins in a single World Cup edition.

Head coach Jonathan Trott is hopeful that Afghanistan's performances in the World Cup will inspire the next generation to take up the sport.

"It doesn't take a lot to see the passion and the rivalry between it," Trott said when asked if he understood what the win over Pakistan would mean to people back home in Afghanistan.

"You know, Asia Cup, we had a very disappointing loss and last year in the T20 World. And then we had a series against them a couple of months ago, three ODI series, which a few times we were in the game, and I'm just glad today we were in the game again, and we managed to get across the line. 

"So very happy with how it went. And very happy for a few of the batsmen who have, hopefully, will now have that self-belief that we can go on and trust their games and be very confident for the games coming forward.

"I think for the country, I think it just shows the amount of talent in the side for the country again, as when we were fortunate enough to beat England. It inspires another generation of players to pick up a cricket bat and a cricket ball, work on their fielding and their fitness."

Chasing 283, Trott believes that the 130-run first-wicket partnership between Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz was the turning point in the game.

Also Read: How underrated are Zadran-Gurbaz as an opening pair?

"The turning point for me was the start that Ibrahim and Gurbaz gave us – I think that’s always good when you're chasing a total like that, you need a good start, there's less pressure on the players coming in," Trott said.

"And it makes their job easier. So those two batsmen, I think, are outstanding, and I'm very happy for everyone getting into the tournament now, and we are showing he doesn't have to show but showing everybody in the world stage what a good player he is, and you know very excited for the way that he played and Gurbaz as well that partnership they had but also the way that Rehmat Shah played, very happy for him."

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, on the other hand, says that his side is hurt with this loss but hopes that they will learn from their mistakes going forward. "I hope we learn from this loss. It will hurt us a lot. We will try to talk about positive things. But we will also talk about the things we did not do well. How we will do it in the future," Babar said.

"Because every match is with [against] a different team. We will have to go with a different plan. We will have to go with a different plan and a different mindset, so we will try to bring a positive vibe in the team."

Pakistan did not have a good outing with the ball or with their ground fielding, which is something that Babar acknowledges.

"This loss was very hard as a team. And the batting and our plan was to total 280-290. And when we achieved that, I think we were not up to the mark in bowling and fielding," the Pakistan skipper opined.

"You have to bowl well and field well. In the middle overs, the spinners didn't bowl as they should have. They didn't put pressure on them. When you bowl well and bowl for 3-4 overs, the pressure comes on the other team. I congratulate their team for the way they played. They played outstandingly."

Pakistan's chances of making it through to the semis hangs in the balance after losing three of their five games so far. They have a chance to resurrect their campaign when they take on South Africa next on Friday (October 27) in Chennai. Afghanistan, on the other hand, will resume their historic campaign against Sri Lanka in Pune on Monday (October 30). 

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