ACB media manager opens up ahead of New Zealand clash


Afghanistan media manager Abdullah Khan Pakthani said that the team is under no external pressure ahead of the New Zealand clash on November 7, and will play the situation as it comes.

Theoretically, Afghanistan are still in contention to qualify for the semi-finals. However, there is plenty riding on the contest of these two teams, with India also having the potential chance to proceed further. From the second group, only Pakistan have managed to guarantee themselves a semi-final berth, while New Zealand, India and Afghanistan are still in the hunt.

No, there is no pressure on us, we treat this and will get into this game the same as any other game and will plan according to the situation. No external pressure on us as we do play according to our needs and requirements, we will do what is best for our team and what suits us,” Pakthani was quoted as saying by NDTV.

Afghanistan opener Hashmatullah Shahidi reckoned that the team’s sole focus will be to try and make way into the semi-finals, and they are not concerned about the other qualification scenarios brewing up.

We only focus on ourselves, our team. Our main focus is how we qualify for semi-finals and we’ll do our best to qualify,” he said

Shahidi backed his spinners to do well in these conditions, given they have adapted well to the UAE conditions. “Our spinners are really good, especially in these conditions. We have played a lot of cricket here and we have the benefits. But against the big teams we should bat better and the batsmen should take responsibility to play well against them.

New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi reckoned that it will be crucial for his team to not complicate things and continue to perform the way they have so far. “If we keep it as simple as trying to adapt to the conditions best as we can, and being aware of the threats that Afghanistan pose and also taking into consideration the things we’ve done really well.

If we can do them really well, I think then we can put on a good performance and all that other stuff takes care of itself. If we get the basics right for a long enough period of time, keep doing the things we’ve been doing well, I think we’ll give ourselves a good chance.