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Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'Home advantage' for confident Afghanistan against Kiwis

'Home advantage' for confident Afghanistan against Kiwis

October 17, 2023 20:31 IST
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'We spent 40 days here... the conditions are the same as in Afghanistan. That gives us extra advantage.'

IMAGE: Afghanistan will take a lot of confidence from their 69-run victory over defending champions England on Sunday, their first win over a Test-playing nation at a World Cup. Photograph: Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters

Adapting to sub-continental pitches and success with the ball in the middle overs are key to continuing New Zealand's winning momentum at World Cup 2023, their captain Tom Latham said ahead of Wednesday's clash with Afghanistan in Chennai.

 

Latham replaced Kane Williamson as New Zealand skipper after the latter's tournament-ending injury in Friday's eight-wicket win over Bangladesh, which made it three wins in three matches for the 2015 and 2019 finalists.

"For us it's about trying to adapt to each surface as best we can," Latham told a press conference on Tuesday.

"Some surfaces may be different to others and they may change throughout a 50-over innings... if we do that I think that gives us a good chance.

"I think it's always the challenge in white-ball cricket, how to stay aggressive through the middle stages when things don't tend to happen as quickly... we've always tried to be proactive and always looking to take wickets in some way."

New Zealand are playing an Afghanistan side fresh off a 69-run victory over defending champions England on Sunday, with their first win over a Test-playing nation at a World Cup providing a welcome boost after losing their first two matches.

Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi said Chennai is a familiar venue for the sixth-placed team.

"India was our home for two to three years... in this ground we had our preparation camp for the 2019 World Cup," Shahidi added.

"We spent 40 days here... the conditions are the same as in Afghanistan. That gives us extra advantage."

Shahidi said Afghanistan needed to break their unfortunate habit of allowing their middle order to collapse if they wanted to build on their shock win over England.

"(Losing) back-to-back wickets puts pressure (on us) and that's happening with us for the last three games," he said. "We have to take responsibility as players, everyone in the middle order."

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Source: REUTERS
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