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Jonathan Trott calls for consistency ahead of England tie

Last updated on 14 Oct 2023 | 01:15 PM
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Jonathan Trott calls for consistency ahead of England tie

The Afghanistan head coach also believes that the gap between the two sides has tightened since the two met at the 2019 World Cup

Afghanistan go into the match against England in Delhi on Sunday (October 15) after having lost both their games so far. They first lost to Bangladesh by six wickets and then succumbed to an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of India.

They come up against England, who recovered well from losing to New Zealand to beat Bangladesh by 137 runs. Former England batter and current Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott believes his side have to be a little more consistent going ahead. 

"In the past we've done better. I think it was obviously disappointing in the first game. And certainly, to start a World Cup like that after having a good warm-up game against Sri Lanka, complete contrast in that," Trott said ahead of the England game.

"So, I think with the side developing and going forward, there's always going to be a little bit of inconsistency but those are the things that we need to work on because at times, we do things really well as we did in India we did a lot of things well - but at times we didn't get things right, and we've got to get especially with a hundred overs of cricket we need to get close to 100 overs of cricket right.

"At times, we get 70-80% of it right, but the other 20-30% that we don't get right really ends up costing us. Those are the things - starting tomorrow, well obviously, starting the game well is going to be crucial against a very strong England side.

"But going forward for the rest of the competition as well, we need to start better with bat and ball and set the standard of how we want to play our cricket."

Trott turned up for England in 52 Tests, 68 ODIs and seven T20Is between 2007 to 2015. However, he says there is no extra motivation for him to get one over his former team. "No, there's no extra motivation. It's just another team that hopefully, we can beat. There is some sort of familiarity, I should say. And I find it a pleasure to play against England. Just like when I played for England against South Africa, I really enjoyed the challenge," Trott said.

"So, tomorrow is going to be a challenge, for sure. But nothing personal, there's no sort of agendas or anything like that it's just another cricket match and that's what I try and express to the guys we obviously at a World Cup, you know there's you know there's lots of sort of distractions around and emotions that could you know come into play but tomorrow is going to be exciting. I'm really looking forward to it."

Afghanistan were decimated in the 2019 World Cup by England at Old Trafford - a game where Eoin Morgan hit a record 17 sixes. However, Trott believes the gap between the two sides has tightened since then.

"I'd say that England are probably in a very similar place to where they were then. And I'd say that we've got a bit better as well. I think I'd like to think so. I hope so," the Cape Town-born head coach said.

"And so that's why I'm very optimistic with tomorrow's game. You know, I'd like to see a good competitive match. I know certainly the England side respects the players we have in our dressing room or the side, and we respect them as well. But there's no room for us thinking too far ahead and what's happened in the past maybe. It's all about tomorrow and making sure that we switch on when the game starts."

How vital Rashid Khan be for Afghanistan? Trott was in full praise of his star leg-spinner. "I know Rashid can't speak highly enough about the guy, the way that he performs and his passion for playing for this side," Trott said.

"I know that he puts a lot of pressure on himself as well to perform and lead the attack if you like. But it's the job of all the other guys who have the ball in their hand to cause mayhem and put a bit of pressure on England and make sure that they are hitting their straps and being really sort of calm because it is going to be sort of a high-scoring game you would say looking at the pitch of the previous two games. 

"So it's a case of the other bowlers making sure that they just as high level and sort of switched on as Rashid normally is."

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