Afghanistan’s coach, Jonathan Trott, emphasized the need for his bowlers to apply pressure on Indian batters during the middle overs to stage a competitive performance in the upcoming third and final T20I. Despite India securing the series with victories in Mohali and Indore, Afghanistan is determined to clinch a consolation win in the historic encounter.
Addressing the media in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Trott expressed his desire to see his bowlers deliver a solid performance. He highlighted the importance of putting pressure on the Indian side during the middle overs, considering it a crucial aspect for Afghanistan’s preparation leading up to the World Cup in June.
“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,” Jonathan Trott commented.
Acknowledging the challenges faced by Afghanistan’s bowling unit due to the absence of the injured Rashid Khan, Trott assured that the management is prioritizing Rashid’s recovery and ensuring he returns to full fitness before rushing him back into action.
“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,” Jonathan Trott elaborated.
On the batting front, Jonathon Trott attributed Afghanistan’s struggles to the team’s limited exposure to T20 matches in recent times. He emphasized the need for the team to find its rhythm and build momentum, hoping for a more cohesive batting display in the upcoming match.
“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,” Jonathan Trott explained.
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Providing a strategic insight for his batsmen, Trott emphasized the importance of having batters performing well in the last ten overs. He reflected on their successful execution in Mohali, where they scored 110 runs in the last ten overs for the loss of two wickets. However, he acknowledged the inconsistency and emphasized the need for sustained performance to compete in series and major tournaments like the World Cup.
“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 concluded, outlining the pathway for Afghanistan’s batting success.