Rashid Khan wants Afghanistan to 'play more' against top teams after heavy defeat to India

T20 World Cup hosts cruised to a 66-run victory in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday

Afghanistan bowler Rashid Khan believes his team needs to be exposed to more matches against cricket's biggest international sides if they are to improve following the 66-run defeat to India in the T20 World Cup on Wednesday.

Afghanistan have won two and lost two of their four World Cup matches so far, delivering comprehensive victories over Scotland and Namibia but coming up short against Pakistan before the one-sided loss to India in Abu Dhabi.

"I think as a team we hardly get the opportunity to play with them, against India and other good sides. We don't get that opportunity. We only play with them in the World Cup," said Khan.

"It's just that belief. Once it comes, I think we can beat any side, but that will come when we play more cricket with those teams."

Khan, who has played league cricket all around the globe including the Indian Premier League, was the fastest to reach 100 T20 international wickets in 53 matches. But his leg-spin rarely troubled the Indian batsmen in Abu Dhabi as he went wicketless for 36 runs in his four overs, including getting hit for two sixes by Rohit Sharma who clubbed a 47-ball 74.

Sharma's blitz, and his 140-run opening stand with KL Rahul, who made 69, took apart the Afghanistan bowling that missed Mujeeb Ur Rahman's mystery spin.

Mujeeb has missed two matches due to an injury and Rashid said there is no clarity on his availability for the remaining matches.

Rashid said the team remains upbeat ahead of their final group game against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi.

"We will just try our best as a team to keep the same process, come against New Zealand in the next game and play with a fresh mind. That could be quarter-final for us, as well," he said.

"If we win we know we have a good run rate so we could be the team to be in the semi-finals."

New Zealand face Namibia on Friday and then play Afghanistan two days later.

Spinner Mitchell Santner said their focus is on winning their final two matches rather than looking at the net run-rate scenario.

"I guess for us it's a matter of winning the next two games and we are through," he said. "So we are going to look first at playing our best cricket at Sharjah and beating Namibia and moving on from there and seeing what Abu Dhabi has for us against Afghanistan.

"It's in our control if we win two games. I don't think we need to look too much into the run-rate."

Updated: November 4th 2021, 11:33 AM
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