Cricket World Cup 2023: Afghanistan have the skills and spirit to cause upsets

With a potent batting unit and world-class spinners, Afghanistan could be a tricky opponent for the top teams

By Anis Sajan

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Afghanistan's Rashid Khan has 72 wickets in 94 ODIs at an astonishing average of 19. — AFP
Afghanistan's Rashid Khan has 72 wickets in 94 ODIs at an astonishing average of 19. — AFP

Published: Mon 2 Oct 2023, 9:37 PM

Brimming with world-class spinners, Afghanistan will come into this year's World Cup in India with a lot of confidence.

Most importantly, they recently beat Bangladesh and came very close to beating Pakistan in the second match of the three-game ODI series in August.

They also came close to qualifying for the Super Four at the Asia Cup last month only to falter in the finish line due to the team management's lack of clarity about the qualification criteria in a make-or-break game against Sri Lanka.

In a recent interview, spin wizard Rashid Khan said this is their second 50 overs ICC World Cup and this time they are not just going to be pushovers.

They have enough experience of playing the 50-over format, now it's about executing them on the field.

They have batsman like Ibrahim Zadran who has a solid temperament for this format. The 21-year-old, who has an ODI average of 54 with four hundreds, can anchor the innings.

Then they have Rahmanullah Gurbaz, another bright young talent who hit a magnificent 151 against a strong Pakistan bowling attack recently.

When it comes to the spin department, they are second to none with Rashid, who has 172 wickets in 94 games at an astonishing average of 19, leading the pack.

Mujeeb ur Rahman, a wicket-taking off-spinner, bowls exceptionally well in the power play.

In Mohammad Nabi, they have their most experienced all-rounder who has 154 wickets and 3000 runs with the bat.

Afghanistan is not too far behind in the pace department with left-armer Fazalhaq Farooqi capable of running through a side with his swing and pace.

This team definitely have the weapons to hurt the top guns on their day.


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