NAPIER: Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi could not separate New Zealand and Australia when it came to choosing between the form teams in the World Cup Sunday.
The Afghans played the two frontrunners and World Cup co-hosts in quick succession and were soundly beaten both times.
After losing to Australia by a massive 275 runs last Wednesday in Perth they suffered a six-wicket thrashing by New Zealand in Napier on Sunday.
“New Zealand, they’re quite good. Also Australia,” Nabi diplomatically said when asked to rate the two sides after comprehensively losing to New Zealand by six wickets.
“I’m not saying that Australia is the best or New Zealand is the best, both of the teams are quite good and quite balanced.”
Afghanistan, making their World Cup debut, scored an historic win over Scotland and were impressive when losing to Sri Lanka before falling apart against Australia and New Zealand.
Nabi believed more substantial performances by the top order Afghanistan batsman would have made a difference.
Against Australia they were 103-6 and against New Zealand the situation was more dire at 59-6.
“In the whole tournament, the top five batsmen didn’t click in five games,” he said.
However, he saw positives against New Zealand with Najibullah Zadran and Samiullah Shenwari putting on an Afghanistan seventh-wicket record partnership of 86.
“Maybe the top order will learn from that as well — getting in and taking responsibility.”
With Afghanistan set to bow out of the tournament after their last Pool A match against England in Sydney next Friday, Nabi felt they would leave without showing their true potential.
“We expected a lot at the tournament to play good cricket and to show it to the world. We showed in the bowling, we have good fast bowlers and we have good fielders as well. But we didn’t show our talent on the batting side,” he said. AFP