Tying a match with a team like India was equivalent to a memorable victory, Afghanistan Natinoal Cricket Team captain Asghar Afghan said, as quoted in a report by Firstpost.
Afghanistan and India played out a thrilling tie on Tuesday night after Mohammad Shahzad led his team to 252 for eight with a sensational hundred.
“When you tie a match with a side like India, it’s just like a win. India have chased easily in the last two games but we made it tough for them. Such tough games are good for the fans as well,” said Afghan after the nail-biting finish of the Asia Cup.
Afghanistan came into the game, having lost two close games against Pakistan and Bangladesh earlier in Super Four. They had comprehensively beaten Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the group stage, reaffirming their rapid rise in international cricket.
“I was sure we’ll play in the final. I knew the conditions in Dubai were suitable for us, because the amount of cricket we've played here. For us the hard luck was all our matches were in Abu Dhabi.
"If it was on this track, I can tell with confirmation that Afghanistan would have been in the final. Hamare saath thodi bewafayi hui hai (This was unfair to us),” Afghan said referring to the controversial scheduling of the event.
Afghan praised Shahzad besides talking about the improvement in batting which has been considered the team’s weakest point.
“Definitely, we have improved in our batting. Previously this was our weak area and we’re working on it regularly. In the Asia Cup it was okay but when we are going to a mega event like the World Cup, there is still lots to improve because conditions in Asia and Europe are different,” he said.
Phil Simmons, the coach of the team said the heavy defeat against India in the inaugural Test in June made the players reflect on where they had reached at the international level.
“The first sign of change in attitude came after our inaugural Test,” Simmons said. “When you saw them come out of the Test looking inward and what they needed to do to improve every game, you knew there were positives even in defeat.
“I'm just trying to make sure everything gets to the level of the bigger nations. We want to beat the bigger teams, that's how we improve. At the end of the day, winning is important to me. These guys are playing Tests, they know that once they cross the rope, every single time they have to perform. That's something that has to (be) worked on. That's something we've to be consistent with," said the former West Indies all-rounder.