Asia Cup 2022: Youngsters keen to watch Virat Kohli and Babar Azam perform, says Afghanistan coach Umar Gul
Asia Cup 2022: Afghanistan bowling coach Umar Gul while addressing a press conference on the eve of their crucial match against Pakistan on Tuesday was firm about the team’s chances of qualifying for the finals.
He remarked that the boys are in a good attitude generally because we have played good cricket in the competition and because we have the proper preparation in place to give the Pakistani squad a strong fight. He was describing the atmosphere in the camp before the crucial match.
The former Pakistan bowling spearhead said:
“Feeling is good in the team, Afghanistan has played great cricket and we can give tough time to Pakistan. We have planned for Babar and Rizwaan, hopeful our players can execute them.”
Defending the pacers’ performance in the last match, the coach said:
“The bowling was not that bad. We missed a few chances which proved to be critical.”
Talking about the absence of all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai in the match against Sri Lanka, Gul said:
“Azmat is a good bowler and important for us. He is skiddy and generates good pace, bowls well in the middle overs and we missed his services in the last match. Hope he passes the fitness test to play. We are checking his fitness test as he practised yesterday and today.”
Stating his strategy against the Pakistani openers he said:
“They are good players but we have plans for them, mistakes will be rectified from previous match and it will be a good contest between the teams.”
The thought that Babur Azam’s wicket would be key for the team had the Afghan coach anxious.
“Babur is a top player, the team is dependent on him. If he performs a good foundation is laid which takes the pressure off the middle order. I also wish him good luck so that he does score runs because players like him and Virat are watched by a lot of youngsters. They are role models for aspiring cricketers and they learn from them. It’s great to watch players like them bat. Babar has not performed in the past 2-3 matches, Virat is also searching for top-form but these players are technically sound, and will not take long to gain form and score runs. If Babar does not perform well in the match it will definitely be advantageous for Afghanistan.”
On Wednesday at the Sharjah Stadium, the fourth game of the Aisa Cup’s Super Four stage will feature Afghanistan vs. Pakistan. The game is important for Afghanistan because they lost their first encounter against Sri Lanka, and a defeat here might end their campaign. Afghanistan is ranked fourth despite not having yet opened an account for the team.
Pakistan will attempt to maintain its momentum in order to beat Afghanistan and guarantee its place in the Asia Cup final. With two points from one game, Pakistan is presently ranked second.