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October 25, 2021

Naveen ul-Haq

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Sharjah Stadium


Post Match Media Conference

Afghanistan 190/4 (20) - Scotland 60 (10.2)

Q. What are your reflections after that, a clinical win?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: Well, every tournament, the first game is very important. It starts the tournament, so it was a good team effort, and we needed to win to start our journey into the tournament.

Q. It's Afghanistan's first T20 international since March. What are the emotions putting on such a good performance after everything going on back home?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: It was a good win. Our players were ready for it. We were well prepared. First of all, our players were playing and participating in different leagues, so yeah, all the boys were ready for this tournament and this match.

Q. And what were the emotions of seeing so many Afghanistan fans in the crowd?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: Yeah, it feels great that the crowds are back after a long time. We enjoyed that.

Q. Can you speak about your batting approach in it seems like there was a big focus on targeting the short boundary and hitting sixes?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: Yeah, it was. Like we had this plan like left/right combination. So for both the batsmen, it was easier to target the shorter side. We had this plan and we executed that well.

Q. A win for you guys out there, do you think you've laid down a mark for the rest of the sides in the group?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: Yeah, like I said before, the first game of a tournament or a series is very important. We need that had win to start our tournament. We won't be complacent about this win. We move forward. Yeah, we will enjoy the victory. It was a great game. But looking forward into the tournament, we still have four round games to go.

Q. How impressed with the performances of Mujeeb and Rashid?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: Well, can't say much, it was nine wickets from them. You can't ask much more than these two.

Q. Fancy your chances against Pakistan come Friday?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: We have a good side. Whoever plays good cricket on that day, they will win.

Q. On these tracks, do you think you're much more of a threat in this competition going forward than held the tournament been held in Australia, for example?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: Well, yeah, these condition are very familiar to us because we have played lot of cricket here in UAE, in Sharjah.

So yeah, these conditions are well suitable for us, for our spinners. Moving forward into the tournament, these spinners will be our key bowlers and key weapons in this tournament.

Q. I wanted to ask you, how did you find the conditions for batting?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: Well, haven't thought much about batting with my side, but they found it a little tough because they were saying the ball is skidding on and keeping low. When we went there to bowl in the second innings, yeah, it was getting on. It was keeping low, some balls. So it was quite difficult, the batting conditions weren't easy to score on.

Q. What was the strategy for the bowling second inning?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: I think we had the same game plan that we won't be bowling full deliveries. It's going to be back of a length, so yeah, that worked for us.

Q. How much did you enjoy your bowling today?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: Yeah, enjoyed the bowling. Mostly I enjoyed the win. If I do well or don't do well, it doesn't matter for me as long as the team wins. If I contribute one wicket to a winning cause, it will be fine for me. So yeah, I enjoyed it.

Q. So for today's match, we should conclude that Afghanistan will be relying on the spin trio?

NAVEEN UL-HAQ: It's the whole team. I can't say; today was there day and next day might be someone else's day. Yeah, they are top-quality spinners, so these conditions are suitable for spinners.

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