Jonathan Trott, the coach of the Afghanistan cricket team, expressed his satisfaction with the performance of his spinners in their opening win against Bangladesh. Despite the seamers’ initial struggle with the new ball, the spinners stepped up and delivered an excellent performance. The wicket at Chattogram, known for its uneven bounce, was a surprise to the team, but they adjusted well and played some good cricket.
Trott praised the spinners for their ability to put pressure on the Bangladesh batters, who were confident after their massive win in the Test match last month. However, the quality of Afghanistan’s spinners shone through, even on a wicket that was expected to favor seamers more than spinners.
The coach also highlighted the experience of his spin attack, which helped them transition smoothly from T20Is to ODIs. He noted their understanding of when to bowl aggressively and when to adopt a defensive approach.
Trott further explained that the mindset of batsmen in T20Is and ODIs is not too different these days, with an attacking approach prevalent in both formats. This requires spinners to be clever, figuring out the right times to attack and defend, especially on wickets that offer little assistance.
Bangladesh, despite having faced Afghanistan’s bowling before, struggled to form a solid partnership from the lower order. However, Towhid Hridoy, a top-order batter for Bangladesh, expressed confidence in the team’s ability to bounce back in the remaining ODIs.
Interestingly, Afghanistan’s spinners have been the most troublesome for Bangladesh in ODIs over the last decade. Since July 2013, they have taken the most wickets against Bangladesh in this format. In the first ODI, the trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi combined to bowl 24 overs, conceding runs at an economy rate of less than three per over.
Hridoy acknowledged the challenge posed by Afghanistan’s spinners, whom he considers the best spin combination in the world. He believes that performing well against them can enhance a team’s ability to play spin against any team. Despite this being his first time facing Rashid, Mujeeb, and Nabi at the highest level, Hridoy had some familiarity with Nabi and Mujeeb from the BPL.