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Updated January 11th, 2024 at 15:34 IST

IND vs AFG: Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott reveals plans to bamboozle Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

IND vs AFG: The absence of Rashid Khan in the T20I series against India is an opportunity for other Afghanistan players to perform against the heavyweights and become household names like the star leg-spinner, feels their head coach Jonathan Trott.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli batting together during ICC ODI World Cup 2023 | Image:AP
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The absence of Rashid Khan in the T20I series against India is an opportunity for other Afghanistan players to perform against the heavyweights and become household names like the star leg-spinner, feels their head coach Jonathan Trott.

The celebrated spinner, who underwent a back surgery after the ODI World Cup in November, was named in the squad but will not be available for the three games as he undergoes his rehab.

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"I believe, with Rashid out of the side, it's a good opportunity for other players to come in and step up and become household names like he is," Trott said during an interaction with 'JioCinema'.

"Obviously, we are going to miss a player like Rashid, his leadership and the overall package he brings to the side. But it'll be good to see who is going to stand up and take responsibility and pressure, just a couple of months after the World Cup," he replied when asked if the spinner's withdrawal has impacted team selection.

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The series starts with the first T20I here on Thursday, and Afghanistan will look to take inspiration from their impressive outing in the ODI World Cup in October-November last year to prepare in earnest for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Speaking about the challenges of standing up to men like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, Trott, a former England Test specialist, said his team is fortunate to have players who have competed against these stars in the IPL.

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"Any side that India selects is strong. Add to it the likes of Rohit and Virat and they have been world-class players for a while. We are fortunate enough to have players who have played quite a lot of cricket against them in the IPL.

"The other guys have watched them on TV, so there will definitely be some plans for them. It's about executing those plans and making sure that on the day we are ready to do that," Trott said.

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Kohli, though, will not be playing in the series-opener due to personal reasons.

When asked about Afghanistan's plans to stop India, Trott said the visitors will have to perform to the best of their abilities in all departments of the game.

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"We need to be better in all three facets of the game. We need to win those key moments under pressure. That's what today's practice is all about, so that players are ready to perform whenever they get the opportunity to make an impact in a game," he said.

On the areas of focus for the series, he said, "We had a good 50-over World Cup and obviously these three games are important. We are here to win but with one eye on the T20 World Cup in June in the Caribbean.

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There were plenty of takeaways for Afghanistan from their showing in the 50-over World Cup in India where they stunned a few established nations, raising hopes of an unprecedented semifinals berth.

Speaking about the positives, Trott said, "For the players, it's the belief that they can come to the world stage and beat very, very good sides like we did. The confidence they take from that is what hopefully will sort of feed into the other formats as well.

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And on the road leading to the T20 World Cup in the Americas, Trott said he will strive to put together the best XI for each game as per the conditions.

"We also need to get the right combinations for different conditions and start building a squad of players that can compete with the likes of the world champions, also adapt to different conditions and not be one dimensional and rely too much on the spin bowling." 

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Published January 11th, 2024 at 15:34 IST

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