Afghanistan wicket-keeper batsman Afsar Zazai believes that their training in India is helping them become a better Test-playing nation, their Test future is safe given the great talent at home.
Zazai, who scored 48 and 41 in the ongoing one-off Test against Bangladesh, also termed Afghanistan as a dangerous team in the Asian condition in the Test cricket. His comment came after the tourists finished the fourth day of the match on top, as Bangladesh were reduced to 136 for 6 in 44.2 overs while chasing 398 – which extends their chances to register their first-ever overseas win in Test cricket at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Afsar told Cricbuzz, “Of course, we are optimistic as a Test nation. We have great talent at home. We play first class-cricket at the domestic level. There are talented batsmen and bowlers, so our future is safe. I think it's good to have different players for different formats. Especially for Tests, you should have more players. Because we are new to this format, we need to work harder on our skills.”
Afghanistan has been training at their base Dehradun since 2018, which has been helping them to adjust to the subcontinental conditions. He further added, “Training in India is naturally helping us. In Asian conditions, we are a dangerous team. We have quality spinners while we are developing as a batting unit and as a result, we believe we are dangerous these days.”
Zazai claimed that the tourists’ batting has made the difference in the ongoing one-off Test, as Afghanistan brilliantly batted in both innings – scored 342 and 260 respectively to give a stiff challenge to Bangladesh, crediting their batting coach Nawroz Mangal and hard work at nets for the show.
The right-hander continued, “I think the difference is we batted really well. We worked hard during our preparations. Our coaching staff, especially our batting coach Nawroz Mangal, the former captain, he did a great job with us and he gives a lot of confidence to the boys. You know about our spinners and they are quality spinners and I think this is the big difference between us and them.”
Meanwhile, Afghanistan is just 2 wickets away from a memorable win over the hosts Bangladesh, and if the visitors manage to win the one-off Test, it will also be a huge boost for the Test newcomers as this victory would prove their potential in the five-day format.
Afsar signed off by saying, “It means a lot to be honest. In the previous Test we played against Ireland, we showed that we can play Test cricket as well. I think it means more than T20I and ODI cricket for us. We have discussed in our dressing room that this Test match is very important for us to win because we want to show we can play Test cricket.”
(With Cricbuzz Inputs)