After a 149-run pummeling at the hands of New Zealand, a fuming Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott on Wednesday pointed out under-par catching as the reason behind his side's mauling here in the World Cup match.
The Afghan fielders dropped as many as five catches at Chepauk, and the main beneficiaries were Tom Latham (68) and Glenn Phillips (71) as the reprieves helped the Kiwis duo to stitch together a 144-run stand for the fifth wicket.
"I would say that it's not the pressure. I think it's been happening a bit too much recently as well since I've been in charge," Trott started in the post-match press meet.
"So, if you look at the statistics, unfortunately, the side is right at the bottom with regards to catching. So, that needs to improve. I think it's something we've worked really hard on in training. We just need to do it in games now," Trott explained further.
However, the former England batter gave credit to the Black Caps for bouncing back from a precarious situation of 110 for 4.
"I think they (Latham and Phillips) played well. But credit must go to the way they held the innings together because it could have got a lot worse for them. They steadied the ship and got themselves to a defendable total," he said.
Of late, Rashid Khan generally stays away from bowling the Power Plays, and Trott said the reason was more technical than anything else.
"Well, we were just waiting until the state of the ball...when Rashid feels like he can grip it because he obviously needs to spin it both ways and when the ball is not as new and not as slippery.".
Jonathan Trott suggests Afghanistan's bowling has room for improvement:
However, Trott was satisfied with the general standard of bowling of his team.
"We were bowling well, I thought, and containing them decently. Then Azmat came on and changed the course of the game with two wickets in an over. And then, Rash (Rashid) got a wicket for himself.".
However, Trott asserted that despite the wicket playing slow, it wasn't a low-scoring pitch.
"I certainly did not feel it's a 130-odd all-out pitch. Yes, it did spin a little bit more towards the end. But I still feel we were taking the spinners for nearly five, six an over.
"The seamers actually did all the damage for them (NZ), and I think we were 28 for 2 at the end of the first power play, which when you're chasing 280, is probably going to put a lot of pressure on the players down the order."
They will next face Pakistan on October 23rd in Chennai.