Afghanistan's captain Gulbadin Naib
Afghanistan's captain Gulbadin Naib looks on during the match against Bangladesh at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Image Credit: AFP

London: Afghanistan are yet to win a match in the World Cup, but they have been trying their best. Their drawbacks are mainly due to lack of experience, while even their strike bowler Rashid Khan was not at his best here.

Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib had a tough time defending Khan during the post-match press conference after their loss to Bangladesh on Monday. “Rashid has been trying hard. He is giving his 100 per cent but if you look at our fielding, I’m a little disappointed. He [Khan] is also disappointed with it... in fact at times very angry on the field. Rashid is someone who gets very upset if you don’t feel well. It’s upsetting when you try to give your best and the fielders give away those extra runs.”

The skipper then revealed how he had a tough time pacifying Khan in the middle. “This is why Rashid looks very upset in the middle sometimes. I constantly ask him to relax and just focus on his bowling. So, I think he has missed his momentum there because of the fielding.”

Naib then went on to sportingly praise Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan’s all-round show. “Shakib is the world’s No. 1 all-rounder now. He has a lot of experience so he took his time on the wicket when he batted, and batted really well. He also bowled really well, according to their plan, although the wicket was not turning much for them. The thing is he bowled in the right areas, and that’s why he got the wickets. It was a slow wicket but it was good for batting.”

Coming back to their issue of poor fielding, Naib believes the target of around 260 was chaseable. “We missed some catches and gave a few extra runs through our mis-fields. That could easily counts to around 30-35 runs that we gave away freely. So their total wasn’t really a big one but all praise goes to Shakib for his good bowling.”