Afghanistan’s head coach, Jonathan Trott, has expressed uncertainty regarding the participation of star spinner Rashid Khan in the series decider against Sri Lanka on June 7. Sri Lanka managed to level the series with a convincing 132-run victory over Afghanistan in the second game. Rashid had missed the opening two matches due to a back issue, and Trott stated that a decision on his availability will be made after assessing his fitness ahead of the crucial third game. Trott also highlighted the team’s bowling performance and their inability to maintain consistency as key factors in their defeat.
With Rashid Khan’s back issue sidelining him for the first two matches, Trott acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding the spinner’s participation in the series decider. The coaching staff will closely monitor Rashid’s fitness and evaluate his condition before making a final decision. Trott mentioned that the team will announce the squad on Wednesday, taking into consideration Rashid’s fitness status and his ability to contribute effectively in the must-win game against Sri Lanka.
Trott identified Afghanistan’s poor start with the ball and their inability to contain Sri Lanka’s scoring rate in the later stages as key factors contributing to their defeat. Acknowledging that conceding 109 runs in the final 10 overs was a significant setback, Trott emphasized the need for improvement in these areas ahead of the next game. He stressed the importance of analyzing their performance, learning from their mistakes, and flushing the previous game from memory in order to focus on the upcoming match.
Reflecting on the run chase, Trott highlighted Afghanistan’s lack of proactiveness and failure to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan bowling attack. In the first 30 overs, Afghanistan had only managed to score 144 runs while chasing a target of 324. Trott mentioned that the Sri Lankan pacer, Chameera, bowled well, but Afghanistan missed opportunities to counterattack and impose themselves on the opposition’s bowlers. He emphasized the team’s need to work on their batting approach and apply more pressure in the next game.
With a day off and a practice session scheduled, Trott expressed optimism about the team’s prospects in the upcoming game. He emphasized the importance of focusing on the process and learning from the previous match. Trott anticipated a highly competitive and challenging encounter in the series decider and conveyed his belief that Afghanistan will put in a strong performance and rectify their previous shortcomings.