Coming off the back of 66-run loss at the hands of India, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan says that the match against New Zealand is like a quarter-final for his side. Afghanistan have accumulated four points from four matches in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup, registering wins over Scotland and Namibia so far with an excellent net run-rate of +1.481.
However, the former captain does not think that Afghanistan's loss over India will have any impace on their momentum. "I don't think it's going to make a big difference to us as a team. We know India is one of the best teams, but still, the preparation remains the same, the mindset remains the same and we know the process.
"That (New Zealand match) could be a quarter-final for us, as well. If we win, we know we have a good run rate so we could be the team to be in the semi-finals. So just to go out there, enjoy your skills, enjoy your cricket.
"As long as you are enjoying, I think there is (are) more chances you could perform," Rashid, who was taken to task by the Indian batters, said at the post-match press conference on Wednesday (November 3) night.
If Afghanistan defeat the Kiwis, then the Virat Kohli-led team has a chance to make the semifinals. They will of course also need to win their remaining two Super 12 games to be in the fray. Rashid was also asked if Afghanistan were thinking about their net run-rate after they lost wickets early against India.
"Definitely, that's the kind of thing we had in mind after losing a few wickets. As a team we planned to go there and score as many runs as possible.
"... Just to focus more on the run rate, and that might play a main role in the last game when we're playing against New Zealand. That could be a big difference in the end.
"Yeah, the message was clear, just go play smart cricket and play 20 overs and get as many as possible, so that was the mindset of the players," the 23-year-old said.
(With inputs from PTI)