Afghanistan ended their campaign of Asia Cup 2022 with a loss to India on Thursday. While there were many positives to take for the Afghan side from the tournament, the match against India was a disappointing one. After being smacked all over the park by the Indian side, Afghanistan had to chase down a mammoth total of 213. The chase was over in the seventh over itself, as Afghanistan lost six wickets.
Their fight to play all the twenty overs was commendable, but if Afghanistan wants to improve, they need to play more against top nations. Since last year, Afghanistan have played bilateral series against Ireland, Netherlands, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. None of these teams are top nations. It must be noted that Afghanistan have been in touching distance of beating top sides quite a few times now.
They came close to chasing down the target of 226 against India in 2019 ODI World Cup. In the same tournament, they had close games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Also, a lack of game sense has been sense in the approach of Afghanistan’s players. Afghanistan Assistant Coach has send a message to ICC to arrange more high-profile tournaments for his side.
We Need More Games Against Top Nations – Ahmadzai
“It’s important for a team like us to play against top-level teams,” Ahmadzai said. “It’s not easy. I can’t remember when we last played India or Pakistan. Playing one or two matches against them in top-level tournaments is not enough. It will help if we play them more often.
Only then can our players learn to control their emotions, control pressure and learn from [the experience]. I feel we deserve that. The way we started in the Asia Cup, giving a tough time to the other teams, I think we did well. Our win over Sri Lanka was a one-sided win, we beat Bangladesh. But we have to improve on the basics. Our players realise where we should be more focused so that we can finish the way we started.”