We have the batting line-up to chase down 200: Rashid

We have the batting line-up to chase down 200: Rashid


The Afghanistan captain says they are no longer reliant only on their spinners.

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PROVIDENCE (Web Desk) - Over the years, Afghanistan's bowlers, especially spinners, have been the driving force behind their success but their captain Rashid Khan believes their batting is now at a stage where they can chase down 200 in a T20I.

"In the past, we were struggling a little bit in the batting area," Rashid said on the eve of Afghanistan's T20 World Cup 2024 opener against Uganda. "Earlier our bowlers would do a lot more and help us win the games. Later, we got those young batters, especially from the Under-19 cricket, and the way they came up to the national side, and the way they have worked hard, they got the opportunity to play for Afghanistan at a very young age and then start exploring all around the world, playing leagues where they got better and better.

"I think we have that kind of batting line-up where we can say it's fine if there is a target of 200 as well on a wicket. We have that kind of ability and skills and talent that we can express on the ground and chase that. T20 cricket is all about the mindset. As long as you have the right mindset, and you have the belief that we can do, anything is possible.

"The other thing is the actual cricket. I think we have played enough cricket in the past couple of years where our skills have got better and better. And we have been challenging the opposition."

Afghanistan and Uganda are in Group C, alongside West Indies, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Out of those five, the top two will progress to the Super 8s, and many experts believe Afghanistan could be one of them. But can they surprise everyone by making it to the semi-finals?

"Yeah, a few people have mentioned Afghanistan is going to be there for semis," Rashid said. "We take that as a very positive sign. Earlier, it used to be hard for us to even qualify. And now to be nominated to be there in the top four, I think it's a big thing for us.

"But we don't look at those things a lot. It's all about how we're going to be there on the ground, delivering. We were very nearly in the last [ODI] World Cup semis as well. We were just one game away from being in the semis and that's where I feel the belief started that nothing is impossible for us as a team. So yeah, we are really excited about this World Cup but as I said before we take one game at a time and then see how it goes."

Afghanistan arrived early in the Caribbean and held a two-week preparatory camp ahead of the World Cup, though many of their players have the experience of playing on these pitches during the CPL.

"Well, I think preparation has been great so far," Rashid said. "A couple of weeks back, we had a domestic T20 competition, which really helped the guys to get the kind of preparation they need as a player and as a team. And then we were here two weeks earlier as well. So we got the preparation we wanted as a team.

"We have those players who played recently here in the CPL, and they got that experience. And we share that experience with the boys. But I think in the ICC events, you always expect something different. You never know what's going to be the behaviour of the wicket. And you have to react to that. You shouldn't already have in mind that this is how it's going to be, this is how it's going to swing, spin, or things like that."