Cricket World cup – Win vs England will give confidence to NZ match: Afghanistan captain



Afghanistan’s captain Hashmatullah Shahidi on Tuesday said the upset win over defending champions England will give his team a lot of confidence going into their World Cup match against New Zealand in Chennai on Wednesday. Afghanistan stunned England by 69 runs in Delhi on Sunday to register their second win in World Cup history. The Kiwis, who are unbeaten in the tournament so far, will pose a tough challenge to the Afghans, but Shahidi claimed his side would be up for the task once again.

“It was definitely a big win for us. England are the defending champions. So it will give a lot of confidence to our team,” he said during the pre-match press conference.

“And we had the belief from the beginning of the tournament, but the first two games didn’t go our way.” As far as Afghanistan’s preparations are concerned, they have had enough camps and tours in India.

Afghanistan picked former Indian batsman Ajay Jadeja as their mentor for this tournament and Shahidi said having Indians with his side has really helped their batting flourish.

“We had a coach earlier also from India and right now Jadeja. If you look at India, their (Indians) batting is very good. So they talk about batting and the team, it helps us when an Indian coach is with us, ” he said.

Shahidi said he did not agree with the perception that cricket facilities in Afghanistan are not adequate.

“We have good enough facilities to prepare. We also have good domestic cricket. If we want to prepare or arrange camps in our country, it is possible.

“In every city, in Jalalabad, Kabul, Kandahar, we have facilities, we have stadiums, we have academies. It’s not like India, but still you can prepare for it.” The Chepauk ground here is not unfamiliar territory for the Afghans who have had several training sessions and preparations at this venue and Shahidi feels the experience would come in handy against the New Zealanders.

“India was our home for two or three years. So we are used to it. On this ground we had a preparation camp for the 2019 World Cup. We spent 40 days here.

“So all these things give us a lot of advantages, especially in these conditions like India, because then the condition is the same for Afghanistan.”

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