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Pressure will be on Sri Lanka because of our spinners: Hashmatullah Shahidi

Last updated on 29 Oct 2023 | 10:03 AM
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Pressure will be on Sri Lanka because of our spinners: Hashmatullah Shahidi

A win on Monday would put Afghanistan in a position from where they can think of qualifying for the semis

Having defeated England and Pakistan, Afghanistan are having their best World Cup but their skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi isn’t looking too far ahead. They have won two of their five games and a win against Sri Lanka in Pune on Monday (October 30) would put them in a position from where they can think of qualifying for the semis.

“The team is doing good and we are all happy. I can say that we had a good tournament so far and looking forward to the other games also. It will be the best ever tournament for us in the World Cup history,” said Shahidi.

“The table is like - we are thinking about the games one by one. We have a game against Sri Lanka tomorrow, so we are thinking of that now. And our aim and goal is to achieve and to go to the next round. That's what we are thinking about.

“We are not thinking - like from tomorrow's game, how to go to the semi-final. We think match by match and our mindset is busy with tomorrow's Sri Lankan game right now. So, let's see what happens tomorrow. Then we will think about other games and moving forward to the semi-final.”

Shahidi also spoke about his batting style. The left-hander has often been blamed for batting too slow but has made efforts in this World Cup to be slightly more aggressive. Against India, the 28-year-old scored 80 off 88 and then made 48* off 45 against Pakistan in Chennai.

“When we have back-to-back wickets, so definitely put pressure when I am playing or other guy in the middle order is playing. So, when our team gives us good momentum, we try to take that momentum, move forward and think about that. 

“We will see how the situation is in the future games. Like, we want to play accordingly. Like, if it's early wickets, so we have to carry on with how to play all 50 overs. If it's good momentum, we will try to maintain that and try to play with a good strike rate.

“I think I did well in the last game and also against India, but I was struggling in some of the games against Bangladesh and England. But I talked with the coach Jonathan (Trott) about my batting and he gave me a good idea. I can't share it here, but the one or two words that he told me helped me a lot. And I will try to take that with me for the rest of the tournament also.”

Looking forward to the Sri Lanka game, the Afghanistan captain said: “It will be a tough challenge for both the teams. First of all, we have played a lot of cricket together in last one year and we know each other very well. We have more confidence in our game.

“I think they have a good team, good bowling and if you see our bowling is our strength also and we have a good bowling attack, especially when it's come to the spinners. So definitely pressure will be on them because of our spinners.”

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