Afghanistan’s recent results in bilaterals, T20I and ODI series wins against a second-string Pakistan and Bangladesh, respectively, have shown that the team has what it takes to beat Full Members. They seem to be maturing as a cricketing force with every passing series and the World Cup will provide clues into whether they can translate those learnings at the highest level.
Afghanistan’s chaotic two-run defeat to Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, where it was unaware of the permutations needed to qualify for the next round, typifies the team’s nerves in multi-nation tournaments.
Its recent success has come on the back of the prolific opening duo of Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz and world-class spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Consistency in the middle-order has been a sore spot for most Asian teams and Afghanistan is no exception.
The batting form of Mohammad Nabi and Rashid, especially at the death, becomes crucial in the face of an undercooked middle-order as Afghanistan’s innings often fizzle out after promising starts.
Afghanistan, however, has made rapid strides in the fast-bowling department, led by left-armer Fazalhaq Farooqi, who played a key role in the team’s notable victories recently.
While the top-order and the spin department will be the cornerstone of Afghanistan’s campaign, how the comparatively weaker middle-order and pace attack fare against stronger oppositions could be the difference between agony and ecstasy.
Gurbaz in ODIs in 2023
Rashid in ODIs in 2023
|Mat.||Runs||Strike Rate||Wkts.||Bowl. Avg.||Econ.|
Afghanistan shouldn’t harbour hopes of going past the group stage. However, its spinners will be more than a handful in Indian conditions and could pull off a few upsets.
Afghanistan in ODIs in 2023
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