Afghanistan’s interim head coach Andy Moles on Tuesday termed his side ‘underdogs’ in the one-off Test series against Bangladesh but claimed that they were not scared of Bangladesh.
The visitors will take on the Tigers in the lone Test-match on Thursday at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram with no short of confidence after displaying strong all-round performance in the two-day warm-up match against BCB XI.
‘We have massive respect for Bangladesh team. They are a level above us. We are not scared of Bangladesh,’ Moles told reporters in Chattogram.
‘We respect them. They have played some wonderful cricket at home for a long time. We are very much the underdogs. Top sides have found it hard work playing in Bangladesh.
‘We are under no illusion that this is going to be a tough examination of our skills. If we could show application and concentration, we are capable of doing something special over the next five days,’ he added.
The 58-year old former English first-class cricketer seemed not to be concerned about his side but he did urge his players to level up their concentration in the field.
Afghanistan are the newest member in the Test cricket, who played their maiden Test match only in last year against India and will compete in only in their third match in the prestigious longer format of the game.
‘I don’t really have many concerns. We have been together for the past two weeks in Abu Dhabi and here. We have worked on many areas of our game. Over the last few days we have been specifically working on our skillset against spin,’ he said.
‘We are very confident with our preparation. The challenge for the players is to unveil their skillset during the Test match.
‘We need to be more consistent in all departments. We are only playing our third Test match. We need to bat for longer. We need to bowl better in our second and third spells. We need to make sure our concentration levels are higher in the field.
‘This is a form of the game in which we are very much in the infancy. But no excuses from me, if we don’t play well it will be a learning curve. We must get better in all aspects as we play more and more Test cricket,’ he added.
Moles advised his players to be consistent as like Bangladesh’s Sakib al Hasan.
‘I am not scared of him. I only got one leg [as he lost all the skin on the ball of his one foot a few days back]. I think he can get me out,’ he said.
‘We are regurgitating the same question. There are world class players in their side. His performance is due to his consistency. When we are not consistent, we play poor cricket. The challenge is to make our players more consistent like Sakib,’ he added.
-With New Age input