Wednesday, 1 December, 2021
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Flower backs Nabi to blaze with the bat in ICC World T20

Andy Flower, Afghanistan's national team consultant for the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup, believes that Mohammad Nabi all-round performance will be key for them in the ongoing ICC WorldT20.

Afghanistan Cricket Board appointed Flower, who coached the England team from 2009 to 2014 and helped them to lift the ICC T20 World Cup 2010 in the West Indies, as their consultant ahead of the global tournament in UAE.

Flower, who worked with him in franchise cricket in the past, feels that it will not take long for Nabi to blaze with the bat despite his prolonged lean patch with the bat in the shortest format.

‘’Nabi the captain someone I have worked in the past and he has been an excellent leader. I think we gonna have good tournament from Mohammad Nabi as well and we need a good tournament from him not as a captain and a tactical captain and an inspirational and wise leader but also as a key all-rounder,’’ Flower was quoted in VDO uploaded by ACB in their official YouTube channel on Thursday.

‘’How he( Nabi) bowls not only to the left-handers but to the right-handers as well when they are trying to attack him is going to be really important in our bowling innings and how he bats is going to be important for us as well,’’ he said.

‘’He is been working really hard in the nets and even though he haven’t scored a lot of runs over the years in franchise cricket but what I can in the nets he is looking much more confident about what he is doing, he is looking organized very motivated and I think he is gonna do something with the bat in this tournament as well,’’ he said.

Flower added that though they don’t have express pace bowlers but their skill set is good enough to compliment the three-man spin attack comprised with Nabi along with Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.

‘’Usually I don’t like singling out because it is a team game but obviously we have a got a superstar in Rashid Khan and he is going to be pivotal in doing well. He is respected around the world and because of that reputation people play quite conservatively which means they have got to attack some other bowlers. He is a huge part of Afghanistan cricket obviously,’’ said Flower.

‘’We are going to play our three top spinners Rashid, Nabi and Mujeeb and will supplement that with Navin, Karim Jannat and Gulbadin and Hameed. Our strength is our combination of three excellent spinners and some seamers who haven’t got the high pace that some of the other sides have but they have skills and great understanding of the game.

And in these conditions if we employ that skills we can create a lot of pressures and create chances that gives us a chance of winning the game,’’ he said adding that he is expecting batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz to make a mark in the event as he feels he have all the ingredients to serve Afghan cricket for long time.

‘’Rahmanullah Gurbaz, even though he is not playing in his preferred position in one or two and more than likely he will be playing at three in the tournament but this a young man who has an excellent technique and he plays all the aggressive shots in 360 degrees and he has got power. Even though he is a small guy he works really hard in his fitness and strength and he can hit the ball a long way. I expect really great things from him over the years for Afghanistan,’’ he said.

Flower added that they had prepared well for the tournament and feels that they can go a long way but at the moment they are trying to follow one-game-at-a-time philosophy.

Afghanistan, who made perfect start by earning a convincing win over Scotland, will take on Pakistan today.
‘’I have really loved the work ethics and the professionalism in the Afghanistan squad and the guys are confident about their game and they have got lot of confidence playing some really good cricket for Afghanistan and around the franchises,’’ he said.

‘’We got to beat the two qualifiers, Scotland and Namibia and we want to beat one of those bigger games- India, Pakistan and New Zealand and see where net rate puts us. This is not an impossible achievement but it’s gonna be tough and we have to play really good cricket and the best way to do that is to focus one game at a time,’’ he added.