England wickets are flattest for white-ball cricket: Bumrah


It was a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire for Vijay Shankar on his ICC World Cup debut against Pakistan at Old Trafford.

As a nation where betting is allowed, the euphoria that surrounds sporting competitions is at an all-time high in Nigeria whenever a major tournament is taking place.

Shankar is unfazed by the fact that he doesn't have the skill sets of someone like Hardik Pandya, who, with his power game, has lived up to the team management's expectations on most occasions. This provides sports betting enthusiasts with access to honest bookies where they know that the money invested is in safe hands. "Today we missed an opportunity to win, to beat India, one of the best sides", Naib said at the post-match presser. "Tomorrow might be a completely different scenario where we'll have to target him, or we might have to play off". With a five-day break between the two fixtures, members of the team had time to relax and spend time away from the field. "He tried to finish the game, I think Nabi did his job, but it's not enough", Naib said.

He admitted that Indian bowlers didn't give them a single chance when they were batting.

For the entire duration of the match, it was Afghanistan and not India which kept the 18,000 fans sitting on the edge of their seats.

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Nevertheless, he said his team were learning a lot from taking on the best teams in the world. They bowled well against India and limited them to 224/8. Skipper Gulbadin Naib had perhaps said it a million times by then, to the world, his countrymen, teammates and himself, "We missed the chance to beat India".

But he said despite the agony of defeat, Afghanistan would take a lot of positives from their performance against unbeaten opponents captained by his favourite player. "But one thing about my team is that it's not an easy team".

Hazratullah Zazai and Aftab Alam have been left out of Afghanistan's lineup in favor of seamer Dawlat Zadran and the experienced Samiullah Shinwari, who will play his first game of the tournament. They have been playing some good cricket and I expect them to claim the victory against Afghanistan.

"The wicket wasn't good for batting in the first half. So I think we're now getting better and better day by day", Naib said. He added that people forget 10 good days and conveniently remember that one particular bad day and they don't like to remember what Rashid did in the previous 10 days. "It was Bumrah, who got them", Rahmat said.