Mujeeb lauds Afghanistan's unified effort, Shakib rues absence of cohesion

Cricbuzz

16th September, 2019 11:18:41 printer

Mujeeb lauds Afghanistan's unified effort, Shakib rues absence of cohesion

Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman said that his team went through some intense training sessions with the sole motive of aiming to clinch the ongoing tri-series in Bangladesh without dropping a point.

Afghanistan defeated Bangladesh in a spectacular fashion in the Test series and showed complete dominance in the opening two games of the T20 series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

In the process, the visitors now share the record of highest number of successive wins in Twenty20 international matches along with Australia, earning 12 successive victories.

''All these training camp that we had [prior to the tour] was to have an unbeaten tour [though] Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are very good team,'' Mujeeb told reporters after Afghanistan's 25-run win over Bangladesh that took them at the top of the points table.

''We have a very good team and unity. The T20 team is a very good team, that's why we won the 12 matches consecutively and broke [equalled] the record of Australia,'' he said.

According to the right-arm off-break bowler, who picked four wickets to play his part against Bangladesh, their biggest strength lies in their team unity as each one of them is supporting each other for the cause of the team.

"We are doing well as the younger players are coming, including me, and they are supporting each other in the training and in the match as well. We are also enjoying our game apart from supporting each other and this spirit takes us to victories," he said.

Mujeeb also cleared the air regarding the issue between Shakib al Hasan and Rashid Khan as it appeared like they exchanged a few words in their previous meeting.

"There was no problem. Rashid was just asking about the lighting. Everyone turned on their mobile light (flash light). That's why... there was no problem,'' Mujeeb said.

The win however did not come easily as the tourists were on the back foot at one stage when they were reduced to 40 for 4, before Mohammad Nabi rescued them with a brilliant knock of 84.

According to Mujeeb, despite being pushed hard there was no panic in the dressing room.

 

Shakib rues absence of cohesion after defeat

 

While Afghanistan are reaping the rewards of playing as a collective unit, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan rued the absence of cohesion to his team's efforts.

''It's happening like in every match - one or two players are performing while most of the others are not. For any [successful] side, most of the players perform and one or two fails,'' he said.

''At the end of the day it is a team sport and we are not playing as a team and that is why winning is becoming more difficult for us,'' he said.

While he acknowledged that Afghanistan have shown better T20 acumen, Shakib also felt that Bangladesh gifted Rashid's team the two points in their recent encounter.

"They are a big team in T20 cricket. They are ranked number seventh while we are at ranked 10th. West Indies and Sri Lanka are above us and we beat them sometimes."

"But you have to say we have given them the match because at one stage we could have grabbed the game with two hands, which we did not do,'' he said.

''We suffered a lot, conceded 15-16 extra runs and that put us behind. After all these mistakes, the difference is only 25 runs. If we can reduce these mistakes we will have more winning opportunity,'' he said.

Despite the disappointment, Shakib and Bangladesh's focus are firmly trained on reaching the final of the tri-series.

''We still have two matches. Zimbabwe have lost two matches in two, it'll be difficult for them,'' he said.

''I am pretty confident our team has the ability to play in the final,'' he concluded.


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