Afghanistan batsman Samiullah Shinwari believes Afghanistan’s struggles in the ICC World Cup 2019 lie primarily in the fact that they haven’t played top sides like Australia, New Zealand and England more frequently.
“We have learnt a lot from the senior teams like Australia, New Zealand and England, but our weakness is that we haven’t played against them in ODIs since the last World Cup four years ago,” Shahidi told reporters after the 62-run loss to Bangladesh at Southampton on Monday (June 24).
“If we could play them more often, things would gradually become easier for us. We are looking forward to playing them so we can learn more.”
Afghanistan will next play Pakistan at Headingley on Saturday before facing West Indies at the same ground five days later.
The veteran admitted that the side wanted to give their fans more to cheer about but that the World Cup is a tough tournament, adding that they targeted wins against Asian teams.
“We want to make our fans happy. They expect a lot. We try our best, but unfortunately, we have not always played well.
“Our target was the Asian teams, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. We have taken some teams close, against India we were very close and did very well. We were happy with that performance.
“I think our fans will be disappointed both at home and in England, but playing in the grounds is different to the way it seems on television. It is difficult, but hopefully we can still get a win.”
Shinwari echoed skipper Gulbadin Naib’s sentiments in attributing the loss to Bangladesh at least partly down to their poor fielding in the first innings.
“We gave away 30 or 35 extra runs. Our bowling was good, but Bangladesh batted very well, especially Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim.
“Then when we batted we lost three or four wickets early, Shakib then went on to take five wickets because he is a very good cricketer who is doing especially well at the moment.”