As Glenn Maxwell’s brutal shots kept soaring into the Mumbai skyline, Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott wished there was a rule to station fielders on the stands as that was the only way to get him out.
Maxwell made the most of a dropped catch — a simple regulation chance at short fine leg spilled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman off Noor Ahmed — as he stroked his way to a sensational 201 not out off only 128 balls, hitting 21 fours and 10 sixes. This was after Australia being down and out at 91 for 7 in pursuit of 292.
Trott, who has been heralded for taking Afghanistan to the next level in this World Cup, lamented an ordinary fielding effort shown by his players.
”I am sure there are a few things, maybe one or two things, you could have done differently but that is cricket and there are always going to be things you want to have back,” Trott told the media after Afghanistan’s loss.
”But he kept hitting them in the stands, so we cannot put fielders in the stands. I wish we could have,” he added.
”But full credit to him, the way that he played to get a double hundred is phenomenal. He deserved to win the game; he got a double hundred,” Trott continued.
The Afghanistan coach admitted his team did not have the right mindset even though they had the game in their grasp at one stage, having reduced Australia to 91 for seven inside 19 overs.
”I think when, obviously, unfortunately, the second catch went down, everyone just seemed to sort of think — just waiting for him, you know, Maxwell to get out,” Trott said.
”I did not see a lot of encouragement or people cheering each other (on) and encouraging each other. It seemed to sort of like the attitude was a little bit, well, we will just, hopefully ‘we will still win’ type-thing,” Trott said.
”It is not a case of when you get an opportunity against a side like Australia, you have got to grab it. They are not going to just give it to you. And you have got to take it. If you get a chance to take it, you have got to take it,” Trott added.
Trott also conceded that there was not much they have could have done as a bowling unit given the shots that Maxwell played all around the park.
”You know, could we have tried maybe wider yorkers when he was cramping up, could we have done things differently? I just saw the same delivery over and over again, which is…” he said. ”You have got to remember that he was hitting all, guys were changing pace, he was hitting that, you know, spinners were bowling different lengths, he was hitting that,” he said. ”Sometimes you have got to take a cap off to a person the way that he played, but he should not have been allowed to play like that. We should have had him out earlier,” Trott said. Trott reminded the Afghanistan players that the game of cricket can bite one back at any stage and it is not important to take the eye off the ball. ”It was a good lesson, I think, as well for our players, because in this game, if you take your eye off the ball just a little bit and you think too far ahead, and you try and start thinking other things instead of just worrying about taking the next wicket, this game can bite you pretty quickly,” Trott said.
”I think it is an experience for a young side, developing. This is — you know, these sorts of things — make sure that we learn from these sorts of things. And just how cutthroat cricket is at the highest level and how you need to be on your game, not for, you know, 70 overs, but for 100 overs,” Trott added.