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World Cup 2023: Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott raises concerns with outfield in Dharamsala


Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott raised concerns about the quality of the outfield at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala after they were humbled by Bangladesh in their World Cup 2023 opener on Saturday, October 7.

Both Afghanistan and Bangladesh players slipped while fielding on the outfield at the scenic stadium in Saturday’s World Cup match, more than once and Jonathan Trott highlighted that Mujeeb Ur Rahman, their star spinner, was lucky to escape an injury after such a fall.

Notably, concerns were raised about the outfield in Dharamsala in the lead-up to the World Cup, and the areas near the boundary were relied on before the tournament.

”I just think if you’ve got players unsure of whether they can dive…when you’ve got players worried about getting injured, I mean, we’re lucky Mujeeb hasn’t got a serious knee injury,” Jonathan Trott said after Afghanistan’s 6-wicket defeat, highlighting Devon Conway also faced a similar issue in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

”So, something for them to look at. But I’m definitely not putting any blame on that (for defeat), but that’s something to keep an eye on for the future,” he added.

Afghanistan were comfortably outplayed across all formats of the game by Bangladesh in Dharamsala on Saturday.

DUST OURSELVES UP’

The former England batter backed Afghanistan to buckle up and recover from the defeat as they look to fare better in the World Cup in India.

Afghanistan have so far won only 1 World Cup match and their opening-day defeat to Bangladesh puts them on the backfoot.

”We know the areas to improve. We’ve got two big games in Delhi now against India and then England. So, we’ve got to dust ourselves off. A couple of practices and then a big match against India, which is going to be a great spectacle. I know the boys will be really, really up for it,” he added.

Afghanistan’s batting performance was particularly lackluster. After being put into bat first, they were bundled out for a meager total of 156 runs in just 37.2 overs. Despite a promising start with an opening partnership of 47 runs between Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the Afghan batting line-up crumbled under the pressure exerted by the Bangladeshi bowlers. Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz were the chief destroyers, picking up three wickets each and causing the Afghan innings to fold prematurely.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz was the top scorer for Afghanistan with a 62-ball 47, but his efforts were not enough to set a competitive target. The middle order failed to contribute significantly, with players like Hashmatullah Shahidi and Mohammad Nabi falling cheaply. The tail-enders also couldn’t add much to the score, despite some late hits by Azmatullah Omarzai.

In contrast, Bangladesh chased down the target comfortably, winning by six wickets with 15.2 overs to spare. All-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz starred in the victory, scoring a half-century and taking three wickets. His performance, along with that of Najmul Hossain Shanto, who remained unbeaten on 59, ensured a smooth chase for Bangladesh.

Afghanistan next face India in Delhi on Wednesday, October 11.

Published On:

Oct 7, 2023

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