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‘It’s a bitter pill to swallow’: Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott after Australia snatch victory | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Afghanistan’s coach, Jonathan Trott, described Glenn Maxwell‘s phenomenal double century as a “bitter pill to swallow” as Australia executed a remarkable comeback to deny Afghanistan a significant World Cup victory.
Trott’s Afghan side had already claimed victories over formidable teams like England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the tournament and were on the cusp of another monumental success when they had Australia reeling at 91/7 while chasing a target of 292 in Mumbai on Tuesday.
However, the turning point came when Afghanistan’s fielder Mujeeb Ur Rahman dropped a straightforward catch at short fine leg when Maxwell was on just 33 runs. The missed opportunity proved costly as Maxwell went on to punish Afghanistan in a historic manner, scoring an unbeaten 201 runs, becoming only the third batsman in World Cup history to achieve a double hundred, following Martin Guptill of New Zealand and Chris Gayle of the West Indies.
Trott acknowledged the significance of not capitalising on that crucial moment, saying, “When you get an opportunity against a side like Australia, you’ve got to grab it. They’re not going to just give it to you.”
Despite the disappointment, Trott had immense respect for Maxwell’s innings, calling it “phenomenal” and conceding that Maxwell deserved the win. He also expressed his belief that Afghanistan should have dismissed Maxwell earlier. Victory in this match would have taken Afghanistan one step closer to the World Cup semi-finals, but instead, it secured Australia’s place in the final four.
“We’ve all enjoyed the victories,” said Trott, emphasising the team’s unity. “I said we win as a side and make sure we lose as a side. There’s no pointing fingers.”
One positive for Afghanistan on this challenging night was Ibrahim Zadran‘s historic century, making him the first Afghan batsman to score a hundred in a World Cup. Trott commended Zadran’s achievement and expressed his hope for more centuries from the talented opener.
As Afghanistan prepares for their final group game against South Africa, Trott emphasised the need to learn from this experience and maintain their fighting spirit. While they still have a mathematical chance of reaching the semi-finals, they will need favourable results from other matches, even if they defeat a South African side that has already qualified.
“We lost the New Zealand game, came back and won the next game,” Trott recalled. “We lost the India game very heavily but came back and beat England.” Trott concluded, “There’s no time to muck around; we’ve got to pick ourselves up and learn from the experience. But it’s a bitter pill to swallow.”
(With inputs from AFP)

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