• Sunday, Dec 08, 2019
  • Last Update : 11:50 pm

Afif: Backing from senior players helps us play without pressure

  • Published at 10:21 pm November 5th, 2019
Afif India
Afif Hossain at the press conference ahead of their second T2OI at Rajkot on Tuesday

Bangladesh on Sunday earned their first T20I victory over India, and contributions from rookie players in the likes of Afif, Aminul Islam Biplob, and Mohammad Naim Sheikh played a significant role in the seven-wicket win in New Delhi

Young all-rounder Afif Hossian has said support from the senior players in the Bangladesh cricket team has been helping the youngsters play without pressure in international matches.

Bangladesh on Sunday earned their first T20I victory over India, and contributions from rookie players in the likes of Afif, Aminul Islam Biplob, and Mohammad Naim Sheikh played a significant role in the seven-wicket win in New Delhi.

Afif strangled India’s batting line-up in the middle overs with his no-nonsense off-spin bowling, picking up one wicket and conceding just 11 runs in his three overs. Meanwhile, leg-spinner Biplob wreaked havoc with his turn, bagging two wickets.

Debutant middle-order batsman Naim scored a level-headed 26 runs off 28 deliveries, as Bangladesh chased down the 149-run target set by India with brilliant finishing from two experienced campaigners Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah.   

“The senior players are motivating and supporting us so that we can play pressure-free cricket, which is helping us perform. The coach also gives us confidence all the time. He is giving us the freedom to play the game according to our own strengths and style.   Hopefully, we will continue to perform well in upcoming matches,” Afif said after a practice session at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium yesterday.

Although the team is feeling confident after winning the first T20I of the series, the players are not getting carried away, he added.

“We are not thinking about clinching the series too much. Every player is focusing on giving his best performance in the next match. If we can do that, then we can bring a positive result,” said the 20-year old.  

“Our plan was to play attacking cricket, and we executed the plan well in the last match. But we can improve more,” added the all-rounder.

When asked who his role model in cricket was, the young off-spinning all-rounder named Shakib al Hasan. Afif’s performances in the near future may be crucial for Bangladesh in the shorter formats, with star all-rounder Shakib banned by the ICC until October 29 next year.

The second match of T20I series against India is set to be played in Rajkot on Thursday evening.