Irfan Pathan has picked England’s poor bowling as the primary reason for their defeat in their World Cup 2023 clash against Afghanistan in Delhi on Sunday, October 15.
The defending champions allowed Hashmatullah Shahidi and Co. to post a 284-run total after asking them to bat first. Jos Buttler and Co. were then bowled out for 215 to lose the game by 69 runs, their second defeat in their first three games of the tournament.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Pathan was asked where England went wrong against Afghanistan, to which he responded:
“Firstly the bowling. They weren’t clear even after winning the toss. There wasn’t any particular reason for wanting to bowl first. So you have to do a little planning. It doesn’t matter which team you are playing against. You have to go based on the level you have created.”
The former India all-rounder added:
“Two bowlers together conceded 87 runs in eight overs – Chris Woakes and Sam Curran. They are too many if they are your two main bowlers. They are among your top five bowlers and that is why I feel it made a huge difference.”
While Sam Curran conceded 46 runs in four overs, Chris Woakes gave away 41 runs in as many overs, with neither of them picking up a wicket. The duo were smashed for a total of nine fours and four sixes during their spells.
“There was no might seen in bowling” – Irfan Pathan on Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s assault on the England bowlers
Irfan Pathan pointed out that the England bowlers fed Rahmanullah Gurbaz in his strong areas. He explained:
“Gurbaz likes to play the pull and the cut. You didn’t bowl to him in the right areas at all. He took the game away from you at the start, in the powerplay and even after that. So there was no might seen in bowling.”
Pathan concluded by highlighting that England need to improve their bowling if they harbor hopes of defending their title. He said:
“We saw a little extra spice on this pitch. The batting surrendered for sure but they have to pay a lot of attention to their bowling or else they won’t have the right or a chance to stake a claim for the World Cup.”
Gurbaz carted the England bowlers all around the park, hitting eight fours and four sixes. Although England staged a comeback into the game after a 114-run opening-wicket partnership between Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, Ikram Alikhil’s 66-ball 58 and Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s blazing 28 runs off 16 deliveries took Afghanistan to a total that proved more than enough in the end.
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