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Experts blame defeat against Zimbabwe on poor captaincy

Experts blame defeat against Zimbabwe on poor captaincy

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Feb 13, 2018 - 00:33

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Experts have linked Afghanistaninfo-icon’s 154 run defeat against Zimbabwe in their second of the ongoing five-match ODI series in Sharjah to what they called persistently poor performance of the captain and a lack of fast bowlers in the team.

Zimbabwe leveled the series 1-1 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium thanks to Brendan Taylor's spectacular century and Cremer's aggressive bowling spell.

Batting first, Zimbabwe rattled up 333 for 5 in the stipulated 50 overs with Sikandar Raza smashing 92 off 74 balls. In reply, Afghanistan were bundled out for 179 in 30.1 overs. The Afghan batsmen were not allowed to settle by Cremer, who took four wickets, and Tendai Chatara, who grabbed three scalps.

Rahmat Shah, scoring 43 off 61 balls, and Dawlat Zadran, hitting a breezy unbeaten 47, offered some resistance. However, their knocks could not save the national side

Dawlat Zadran put on 64 for the final wicket with Mujeebur Rahman, hitting six towering sixes, but Zimbabwe cruised to an easy victory.

Except Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Zadran the remaining bowlers could not build pressure on the opposition and a poor show by Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi and Rahmat Shah enabled Zimbabwe to win the game easily.

While batting, the Afghans off to a poor start with Ihsan Jannat, Shehzad Mohammadi, Asghar Stanikzai and Najeeb Zadran returning to the pavilion in quick succession.

Nabi and Rahmat Shah put up some resistance but lost their wickets at 106 on the scoreboard. However, later Dawlat Zadran and Mujeeb Zadran took the score to 179.

The defeat drew strong criticism from cricket experts and fans and most of them have blamed it on the captain, Asghar Stanikzai for his persistently poor performance.

Cricket expert and journalist Zubair Babkarkhel told Pajhwok Afghan News that Stanikzai had scored a total of 35 runs in his last seven ODI games or five runs per match on average.

He believed Stanikzai’s poor performance had a negative impact on other players. “Stanikzai could not shine in the ODI and T20 formats, so he should only play Test cricket.”

He said the Afghanistan team remained unreliable as sometimes they were able to defeat a strong side easily and sometimes faced humiliation like underdogs.

Babkarkhel said the young players – Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Rahmat Shah and Najeeb Zadran – were the backbone of the team and Stanikzai should give the young talent a chance to lead.

Another expert and director of Loba organization, Rahim Gul Sarwan, said Asghar Stanikzai had never batted well at the one down position in ODI and Twenty20 games. He said early dismissal of Stanikzai at the one down position had always put pressure on the incoming batsmen.

“This pressure has often led to the defeat,” said Sarwan, who criticized the captain for not playing other players in a proper way.

He said Dawlat and Gulbadin could not perform well in the yesterday match against Zimbabwe so players like Shahpur Zadran and Farid Malak should be given a chance in the next game.

He said a weak bowling was a major reason behind the defeat against Zimbabwe, adding Afghanistan could not find a replacement to Hamid Hassan.

Sarwan said Gulbadin had been unable to become in form during the past several years despite being given chance time and again. He said other fast bowlers should be included in the side.

Cricket fan and social media activist Mushtaq Rahim on his Facebook wrote that he fully analyzed the match against Zimbabwe and the defeat resulted from using Gulbadin as a special bowler.

He said Afghanistan relied on spinners like Bangladesh and they could not defeat leading sides without having fast bowlers.

“Zimbabwe batsmen played defensively against Nabi and Rashid but they were aggressive against other bowlers who conceded most of the score.”

“Our team desperately needs fast bowlers but the cricket board remains unconcerned, only Rashid and Nabi are not enough.”

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