Off The Field

Afghanistan need to put pressure on Indian batters in middle overs, says coach Jonathan Trott

Written by Shreyas Vyas

Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott stated that his bowlers will need to put pressure on Indian batters in the middle overs to compete against the hosts in the third and final T20I on Wednesday. Afghanistan will be eyeing a consolation win after India sealed the series with wins in Mohali and Indore.

“I will be looking at getting closer to a good 40 overs from us tomorrow. Being able to put some pressure on the Indian side in the middle overs with the ball would be nice. It’s something that we want to get better at if we want to compete at the World Cup (in June). So, plenty to play for at such a historic venue,” Trott said in his pre-match press meet on Tuesday.

Part of their struggles with the ball stem from the absence of injured Rashid Khan, and Trott said Afghanistan’s management is giving the star spinner plenty of time to recover.

“It is a case of us making sure that we are careful with his back. He is such an influential player. We have to make sure he is 100% ready and not rush him back from that type of surgery. It is important to give him the time and he is working extremely hard. He has got a few more appointments and check-ups to make sure everything is okay. So, there is no real time-frame. I hope it is sooner rather than later. But there is no pressure and no rush,” Trott added.

Afghanistan’s batters have also struggled in this series, which Trott attributed to his team’s recent lack of T20s. “We haven’t played a lot of T20s recently. As a side, we take a while to get into the rhythm. We saw ourselves build towards that 50-over WC with the Asia Cup and a series before that. Hopefully, tomorrow we can get it all together,” he said. Trott provided a clear path for his batsmen to score runs.

“We need batters going into the last ten. We have seen how hard it is to stop batters in the last five overs. What we did really well in Mohali is that in the last ten overs we got 110 runs, I think for two wickets. But in Indore, in the middle overs, we went nine overs at six (runs) an over, building up for the last five. So, we do well for one game and don’t do it in the next. We need to do it more if you want to compete for the series, in World Cups,” he added.

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Shreyas Vyas