Afghanistan`s rise in the international circuit has been a fairy tale story, and their success has paved the way for them to become a full-member nation in a very short period. The Afghanistan team won the World Cup qualifiers tournament to enter the 2019 World Cup, having first appeared in the tournament back in 2015. Afghanistan will be high on confidence after their recent showing against the big teams and will be looking to make a significant mark this year. Now, let us take an in-depth analysis of their players, strengths, shortcomings, and previous records in the ICC tournaments.
ICC ODI team Rank: 10th
World Cup appearances so far: 2015
Best World Cup result: Group Stages in the 2015 World Cup
Total World Cup matches: Played: 6, Won: 1, Lost: 5
Biggest World Cup win:
Afghanistan beat Scotland by one wicket in the 2015 World Cup (Group Stages)
Now, let`s analyze the team combination, squad strength, and different player options available in the Afghanistan team for the 2019 World cup. Afghanistan has made a name for themselves in the international circuit and will be looking to keep their good promise.
Captain: Gulbadin Naib
Gulbadin Naib was appointed as captain recently after their board`s fallout with former skipper Ashgar Afghan. Naib is a useful first change bowler and a decent middle order batsman who can score runs at a reasonable strike rate. However, his captaincy skills will be tested in a big tournament like the World Cup.
Batsmen: Ashgar Afghan, Noor Ali Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Hazaratullah Zazai
Ashghar Afghan is the most experienced player in the team and is expected to play a vital role in the middle order, but will need to prove his credentials with the bat. Hashmatullah Shahidi and Najibullah Zadran will bat in the lower middle order and will need to up their scoring rates in the final overs. Hazaratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran will be vying for the opener`s slot to partner Mohammed Shahzad, with Zazai expected to pip Zadran owing to his big-hitting prowess.
All-rounders: Mohammed Nabi, Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shenwari
Mohammed Nabi is their best all-rounder in the team. Nabi is an experienced player who takes up responsibility with both bat and ball and shows consistent form. Rahmat Shah will come in as the No. 3 batsmen as his primary role in the group. Samiullah Shenwari will be the back-up player in the team and has ample experience in ODI cricket for Afghanistan.
Wicket-Keepers: Mohammed Shahzad
Mohammed Shahzad is the only wicket-keeper in the squad, and he will also open the batting for the team. He is an attacking batsman who has scored runs against quality bowlers in the past. Shahzad is one of the most famous players in the Afghanistan team.
Bowlers: Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Rashid Khan is a superstar in the Afghanistan team, and he has played all around the world in the top T20 leagues. Rashid`s leg spinners and wrong ones are very tough to pick for any batsman. Mujeeb is also an excellent spin bowler with experience of playing in different conditions. His ability to bowl in powerplay overs will be a major boost for the team. Aftab Alam and Dawlat Zadran will take up the new ball, and they will be needed to play a significant role with the English conditions favoring pace bowlers. Hamid Hassan is the back-up pace bowler in the team.
Expected starting XI:
Gulbadin Naib(C), Ashgar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Hazaratullah Zazai, Mohammed Shahzad (Wk), Mohammed Nabi, Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Dawlat Zadran
Remaining Players: Noor Ali Zadran, Samiullah Shenwari, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Afghanistan will start their campaign as one of the new-comers in the tournament with their opening match against Australian on June 1. They play a couple of warm-up matches against Pakistan and England before kicking off the competition. Afghanistan will be looking to make a significant mark this tournament and further strengthen their position in international cricket.
World Cup matches
Afghanistan is not one of the favored teams to win the tournament, but, every team will be wary of their skills and capabilities. Afghanistan will give fierce competition to every team in the 2019 World Cup. Afghanistan Is expected to spring one or two victories in this year`s World Cup. We expect the Afghanistan team to end their campaign in the group stages itself. Afghanistan is predicted to be in the last two spots in the points table at the end of group stages.
We expect the Afghanistan team with equal odds against the likes of Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Pakistan. They will be given fewer chances against top nations such as England, India, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
This is the second World Cup Campaign for the Afghanistan team, and they have risen in stature with every passing year, but they will be given the least odds to win the 2019 World Cup.
Afghanistan Odds of winning the 2019 World cup 2019: 66.00
*Odds are accurate at the time of publishing and may vary
We give betting tips and predictions for every match of the World Cup 2019. Please check the ‘Cricket tips and predictions’ columns in our site regularly. Betting can be done in different ways such as match results, player performances, scoring rate, runs, wickets taken, etc. We will try to give you small tips in betting in the following paragraph but always remember the form and momentum of the team will be the major factor to decide the outcome once the tournament begins.
If you are betting for the team winning the match, then we will have Afghanistan team with 50-50 odds in the matches against West Indies, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Afghanistan will have 35-65 odds against their favor in their matches against South Africa, New Zealand, and Pakistan. They will have fewer odds in range of 20-80 against the top-ranked teams like Australia, India, and England.
If you are betting on player`s performances, then the players to watch out for in the Afghanistan team are Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shahzad, Gulbadin Naib, and Dawlat Zadran. We also expect some players like Mohammed Nabi, Aftab Alam, and Rahmat Shah to give some impactful performances in this tournament.