Former Indian Test opener Aakash Chopra feels fielding has let the Afghanistan team down in the ongoing World Cup 2023. The Afghan team hasn’t grabbed their chances in the ODI showpiece and it has led to their downfall in some crucial matches.
Afghanistan’s fielding unit was not up to the mark as they gave two lives to Glenn Maxwell, who scored an unbelievable knock of 201 runs off just 128 balls at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Tuesday.
Hashmatullah Shahidi dropped a difficult catch of Maxwell as he was a bit late to react whereas Mujeeb ur Rahman dropped a sitter at short fine leg when the all-rounder was only on 33. Maxwell went on to score 168 runs more after he was given his second reprieve.
Furthermore, Afghanistan fielders were also sloppy in the field and could not save runs.
Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube Channel, “Fielding has let this team down. This has happened earlier as well and has happened again. It has become slightly frustrating that Afghanistan’s fielding is extremely ordinary. Otherwise, the team is playing extremely well. They lost but won hearts. They will think they lost an opportunity.”
The renowned commentator added it was a regulation catch that Mujeeb ur Rahman dropped.
“No one drops catches deliberately but this was a regulation catch, and after that, the match itself went out of their grasp. No one thought a catch would be dropped like that, or Pat Cummins would play almost 70 balls for just 12 runs, or there would be such a big 200-run partnership where one guy would contribute just 12.”
Chopra also hailed Ibrahim Zadran for playing a crucial knock of 129 runs and becoming the first Afghan batter to score a century in the World Cup.
“Before all that, they reached 291 while batting. It seemed like 325 runs were also possible at one stage. They couldn’t pace their innings that well but Ibrahim Zadran became the first Afghanistan player to score a century on the World Cup stage.”
“He did it against a good team and in a good fashion. I rate him very highly. I feel he is extremely organized. Rahmanullah Gurbaz gave a decent start and then Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rashid Khan in the end, everyone hit. Rashid plays different types of shots.”
Afghanistan will play their last league stage match against South Africa at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Friday and it will be a must-win game for them.