Having lost to Bangladesh in the rarefied heights of Dharamshala, Afghanistan quickly descended to the plains ahead of its World Cup clash here against India.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday afternoon, Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi stressed that all departments within his squad need to perform: “We have a good spin attack, but only one department can’t win you games. You have to score runs for that, to win the game. Also in the Bangladesh game, we didn’t bat well but I still believe we can come back.”
Countering the host will not be easy and Shahidi said: “We have to make these things simple, and we are used to full stadiums. We need to focus on our own game and deliver that.” The captain also backed Rashid Khan to prosper: “Whenever it is his day he can do anything against the opposition, we are hoping he delivers.”
Shahidi felt that playing against his own spinners while training was an advantage: “We play better spinners in the net sessions. Rashid, Nabi, Noor and Mujeeb, we play them every day. I think our team is far better in playing spin bowling.”
The Afghan captain also toned down the chat around the tense exchanges between Virat Kohli and Naveen-ul-Haq in the past. “What happened in the ground, that aggression comes to every player.
We like a lot of your players, we have idols like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid,” Shahidi said, and added that mentor Ajay Jadeja has spoken about dealing with pressure.