Former Indian batter Mohammad Kaif criticized Afghanistan players’ poor fielding efforts against New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2023. Mohammad Kaif emphasized that the fielders failed to seize easy opportunities and missed catches during their loss to the Kiwis.
The Hashmatullah Shahidi-led team suffered a 149-run loss against New Zealand in Chennai on Wednesday, October 18. The Afghanistan bowlers conceded 288 runs to the opposition after opting to bowl first. In response, they were bowled out for just 139 runs in 34.4 overs.
They Were All Easy Catches – Mohammad Kaif
In a conversation with Star Sports, Mohammad Kaif pointed out that the dropped catches made a significant impact on the outcome of the game. Kaif stated that the opposing team could have been bowled out for fewer runs with better fielding.
“A good fielder waits for the ball to be hit to him and to be tested on the ground. Here, they were tested a lot. They were all easy catches. I won’t be able to defend them even if I want to,” Mohammad Kaif told Star Sports.
“Under-16 and under-19 kids will hold such catches. None of them were difficult catches. You lost the match because of the dropped catches. This team would have gotten all out within 200 if they had held their catches.”
Afghanistan’s fielding woes continued as they dropped four catches and missed a stumping opportunity. Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi put down two catches, while Rahmat Shah and Mujeeb Ur Rahman were also responsible for missing one catch each.
I Am Not A Fan Of Big Gaps – Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif questioned the positioning of the slip fielder and the technique of the players. He mentioned that the slip had a big gap, making it challenging to react to the ball effectively.
“You kept a slip but there was a huge gap. I am not a fan of big gaps with the new ball. The ball generally goes fine. It was a late reaction. He went with both hands but couldn’t grab it,” Kaif further added.
“Hashmatullah Shahidi’s first drop, the ball hit him on the palm. I always say the ball should land close to the fingers as the fingers won’t be able to grab the ball otherwise. Mujeeb first went with two hands and then he felt the ball was towards his left and used just one hand.”