Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib has stressed on the need to bat sensibly ahead of the team’s second World Cup clash against Sri Lanka here on Tuesday.
Afghanistan opened their campaign with a seven-wicket defeat to reigning champions Australia, who chased down 208 thanks to half-centuries from David Warner and Aaron Finch.
Despite the result, there were plenty of positives for the Afghanistan who fought back from 77-5 down after losing opening batsmen Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai for ducks. Najibullah Zadran was particularly impressive with the bat and Gulbadin believes his side are more than capable of posting a big total against Sri Lanka.
“My message has been one thing, just to look at the positives. If you look, we missed out early on and then we scored 200-plus so if we have wickets in hand it could have been 300-plus,” he said here on Monday.
“We need to stay on the wickets and don’t give away wickets easily, then we can have wickets in hand then we have the potential to do in the last ten overs 80-90 runs or more.”
“Australia are the best side, they are a champion side, they played hard against us so one thing the guys took away is the positives if they stay in the wicket,” he said. Sri Lanka are also looking to bounce back after suffering a heavy defeat in their opening game against New Zealand, losing by ten wickets after being bowled out for just 136 runs.
But while the Cardiff pitch appears to favour seamers, Gulbadin is confident his world-class spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman can take advantage.
“If you look at the Sri Lanka team the last two years they have been struggling in the one-day matches so we have an opportunity to do well against them,” he said. “I hope that if we can play 50 overs, especially in the batting, maybe we can beat them, but they are also a good team and we can not take them easy.”