Afghanistan should have won against Australia in 2023 ODI WC: Usman Khawaja

New Delhi, Jun 24 (IANS): Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja "wasn't surprised" by Afghanistan's stunning win over Australia in the T20 World Cup Super Eight match and praised their strength as a team.

Riding on Gulbadin Naib's four-wicket haul after Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran's opening stand of 118, Afghanistan stunned Australia by 21 runs and secured their first-ever win over the cricketing powerhouse.

"Afghanistan is a very strong team. They probably should have won against us in the last World Cup too," Khawaja said at the Prime's cafe launch in Melbourne.

Reflecting on Australia's loss to Afghanistan, Khawaja urged the team to move past the defeat and focus on the next challenge. He underscored the significance of the match against India, considering both teams to be the best in the world. "We still have a chance, we need to beat India. When the pressure is on in the World Cup, Australia usually comes out on top," he asserted.

For Australia, things are dire after being at two points and their net run rate going down to +0.223 after a shock defeat to Afghanistan. India's win against Australia will seal a semi-final berth for Men in Blue while a loss would make Australia dependent on the result of the Afghanistan vs Bangladesh match on Tuesday.

Khawaja also emphasised the critical nature of the upcoming game against India, labeling it as a "do or die" scenario for Australia. He expressed confidence in the team's process-oriented approach under Mitchell Starc and Andrew McDonald. "It's very human to be nervous and a little more anxious, but Australia has played very good T20 cricket up until Afghanistan. That's the beauty of T20 cricket; it just needs one moment to change the whole scenario," Khawaja noted.

Khawaja also shared his love for T20 cricket, praising its ability to engage a broader community. He observed that the format has attracted more girls and mothers to the sport over the past decade. "You would have never thought USA would be in the Super Eight," he added, highlighting the growing global reach of T20 cricket.



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Title: Afghanistan should have won against Australia in 2023 ODI WC: Usman Khawaja

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