• Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019
  • Last Update : 05:18 am

Tigers respect but don’t fear Afghan spinners

  • Published at 09:28 pm June 23rd, 2019
Steve Rhodes
Steve Rhodes Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik from Southampton

Bangladesh camp is aware of Afghanistan spin attack as they have Rahid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman but believe they have the ability to tackle these spinners in the upcoming tie

Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes said Afghanistan have a quality spin bowling attack and although Tigers respect the attack they don’t fear it.

Bangladesh will face Afghanistan in their crucial World Cup encounter at Rose Bowl Stadium, Southampton on Monday and the pitch is expected to aid spinners. 

Afghanistan have lost all of their matches in the World Cup so far but put up a great fight against pre-tournament favorites India on Sunday and almost pull off an upset as India won by only 11 runs defending 225.

Bangladesh camp is aware of Afghanistan spin attack as they have Rahid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman but believe they have the ability to tackle these spinners in the upcoming tie.

 “I think the word is respect about Afghanistan. Rashid Khan is a wonderful bowler. I know he went for plenty of runs against England. It was just one of those days for him. Generally he is very, very aggressive and tight at the same time. He is a quality bowler. The other two spinners – Nabi and Mujeeb – are quality too. We respect them, but we don’t fear. The lads grew up on spinning wickets but we will respect them because they are top international bowlers,” said Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes during the pre-match press conference on Sunday.  

Afghanistan have been a tough opponent for the Tigers. Bangladesh have won four matches while the Afghans have won other three in their previous seven ODIs. The competitiveness was evident in their recent encounters as Afghanistan won easily in the group match before Bangladesh snatched a cliffhanger in the super-four stage of the Asia Cup last year in the UAE. 

“They are a tough bunch of cricketers, and really fought hard against India. They pushed us hard at the Asia Cup, and thankfully we came out on top in that game. We know it will be a difficult game tomorrow, but we are not fearful. We are confident,” Rhodes added.

Bangladesh have three games in their hand in the group stage of the World Cup all the matches are against Asian sides- against Afghanistan at Southampton, against India at Birmingham and against Pakistan at London.

Tigers need to win all three matches to secure a spot in the semifinal stage and all the matches are do or die for them. But, Head coach Rhodes is focusing on concentrating on match by match rather than putting pressure about all the three matches at a time.   

“If we think it is a do or die game against Afghanistan and think too hard, you can put too much pressure on yourself. I will try to take a little bit of that pressure off the team. They know the importance of the game. But my job is to make sure we concentrate on the game, and we do smart things and play well. If we try too hard and put too much pressure on ourselves, we might not get the result that we want,” Rhodes concluded.