Afghanistan are entering their 2nd World cup. They are playing their international match in England grounds for the 1st time. They haven’t faced any top 6 teams (apart from India and Pakistan). They been facing only Ireland and Zimbabwe more often. The squad analysis for Afghanistan is as follows
Afghanistan Cricket World Cup 2019 Squad
Gulbadin Naib (C), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
To know other team squads, see ICC Cricket World Cup Squads 2019
Afghanistan Cricket World Cup 2019 Match Schedule
|June 1, 2019||Afghanistan vs Australia||County Ground, Bristol|
|June 4, 2019||Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka||Sophia Gardens, Cardiff|
|June 8, 2019||Afghanistan vs New Zealand||The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton|
|June 15, 2019||South Africa vs Afghanistan||Sophia Gardens, Cardiff|
|June 18, 2019||England vs Afghanistan||Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester|
|June 22, 2019||India vs Afghanistan||The Rose Bowl, Southampton|
|June 24, 2019||Bangladesh vs Afghanistan||The Rose Bowl, Southampton|
|June 29, 2019||Pakistan vs Afghanistan||Headingley, Leeds|
|July 4, 2019||Afghanistan vs West Indies||Headingley, Leeds|
Check out the full schedule and fixtures of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
Story So far
Afghanistan had played 63 matches post 2015 Cricket World Cup. This number is much higher than their total tally of matches before 2015 World Cup. They couldn’t come top 8 in ranking and hence pushed to qualifiers match along with other minnows. They reached finals and beat West Indies and eventually became the winners in that round. They were never the minnows after 2015. They are showing fight against opponents and it was really nice for a war nation that had made cricket a famous among their people.
They defeated Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and even tied against India in Asia Cup 2018. They had a captaincy issue recently by axing their regular captain Asghar Afghan and made Gulbadin Naib as captain. This created tension among players and all went against this decision. But the board went with their decision. So, this issue may hurt the team in this journey.
The only thing is, out of 63 matches, 44 matches been played against Ireland and Zimbabwe. They never faced any big teams and this could be a huge let down because of the inexperience they will face in the tournament.
Opener Mohammed Shahzad is the only hope for the team. With his attacking batting, he can be a good prolific batsman. But his other opener Noor Ali is not as good as he used to be. So, the opening partnership cannot be expected this time. Rahmat Shah, Shahidi and Najibullah Zadran are the key middle order batsman and can be scoring bulk of runs to the team.
Mohammed Nabi can do a cameo at the end, and we all know what he is capable after watching his stint at IPL. Most probably the team can post total of 260+ when first batting and while chasing, it depends how well the opponent bowlers are.
The Spin trio of Rashid Khan, Nabi and Mujeeb can give trouble to the opponents only if the pitch assists spin, otherwise they may get blown away. In fast bowling Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam and Naib can be more aggressive. But their bowling won’t affect any top teams, but can make damage to the teams like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Players to watch out for
Rashid Khan – Can be productive in all batting, bowling and fielding. He gives his experience in county, big bash and IPL to the team. His spin bowling can be more dangerous and also more economical.
Mohammed Nabi – Nabi also goes a handy at bowling as a part timer and can be economical. His batting at the death overs will be crucial to the team.
X – Factor
Mohammad Shahzad – The attacking opening batsman will be very crucial at the power play overs and if he scores big he can torment any bowling order on that day. His batting could be a big thing for Afghans to post a challenging total and can try to defend.
Afghanistan will not reach semi finals. But they have the capacity to upset some nations like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The only thing is they need to bat first and try to post huge total and defend with their bowling.