“We have learned a lot of things in the last four or five games” - Gulbadin Naib Afghanistan

Afghanistan's Gulbadin Naib during the pre match press conference

Gulbadin Naib has backed ‘mentally strong’ Rashid Khan to come out fighting following disappointment against England.

-        Afghanistan were beaten by England at Old Trafford in their last game and face India next

-        Gulbadin says Rashid is mentally strong enough to move on from his last performance

The talented leg-spinner was part of an Afghanistan bowling attack that conceded 397 - the highest score of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 so far - to the hosts in a 150-run defeat in Manchester.

Ranked the No.1 T20 bowler in the world, Rashid endured a rare off-day at Old Trafford as England’s batsmen – especially captain Eoin Morgan – went on the attack.

But with another star-studded side in India up next, captain Gulbadin has seen fire in the youngster’s eyes over the past couple of days as he seeks to put the record straight.

“Rashid Khan is not an easy bowler. We can't play him in the nets and we know him, so he's very difficult,” he said.

“He’s one of the strongest players mentally and so he learns everything very quickly.

“I saw him today and he’s totally different.

“He didn't think about the last day or what happened. He's just focusing on the present and the future.

“That's the best thing about Rashid.”

Winless in their opening five matches, Afghanistan face another tough task against Virat Kohli’s unbeaten side in Southampton on Saturday - and predicted a bright future for his own team.

Skipper Gulbadin, though, believes there is plenty of cause for optimism after an improved showing at Old Trafford last time around.

“If you look at the game (against England), we did a lot of things well,” he added.

“We have learned a lot of things in the last four or five games.

"We didn’t do much well in the first four or five games. It was not our level of cricket.

“Now the morale of the guys is just focusing on each and every game.

“We are losing the matches now but one day Afghanistan will be different.”

 ©Cricket World 2019


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