Pressure is on Bangladesh: Afghanistan Captain Mohammad Nabi
In ODIs, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have played each other just once, back in the Asia Cup in 2014 when the Afghans emerged victorious. However, Bangladesh demolished Afghanistan a few weeks later at the World T20. The 7th match of the 2015 Cricket World Cup brings tournament debutants Afghanistan up against another Asian team, Bangladesh.
Bangladesh are full members of the ICC and have been playing ODIs since 1986 and Test matches since 2000. Afghanistan, however, hold the upper hand in terms of head-to-head record over the higher ranked Bangladesh team, leading by 1-0.
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi, ahead of his team’s match against its Asian counterpart, did not shy away from playing mind games.
He said, “Pressure is not on Afghanistan. Pressure is totally on Bangladesh.”
The win over Bangladesh did not lose its sheen for Afghanistan despite the absence of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan as it came at the home of the Tigers.
Nabi said, “Yeah, Tamim and Shakib are the most senior players for Bangladesh team. (But) if you look at the conditions in Bangladesh, it is totally different."
Nabi believes that the presence of fast bowlers in the Afghanistan squad will help his team in the bouncier conditions in Australia. Nabi also said that the experience that a few Afghanistan players took from their involvemenr in the Bangladesh Premier League would hand them a slight advantage over their opponents.
Afghanistan coach Andy Moles said that his team are excited to make their debut at the World Cup and not at all nervous.
“They are a side that will test all their opponents if they can get their act together,” Moles said.
“What happens is the Afghans, when we don't play our best cricket, we get a bit excited. We want to hit fours and sixes,” he concluded.
The Afghans batted 50 overs against defending Champions India and beat fellow Associate nation UAE in their warm-up matches. While Bangladesh could not achieve either feat in their set of warm-up matches. The match between the two teams begins at 9 am IST.