Afghanistan will be up against Bangladesh in Pool A group stage match. The Afghan team isn’t just a good one, but they have the skill what it takes to beat the top giants in the game. In last year’s Asia Cup, Afghanistan beat Bangladesh and proved it that they are on equal terms with Bangladesh. The only difference between the two teams is that Bangladesh is a full time member with Test status while Afghanistan is waiting for it for a long time. The development of Afghan cricket is astonishing and it won’t be wrong to say that they can beat Bangladesh with their current team.

Afghanistan:

This is their first Cricket World Cup and they are up against another Asian team Bangladesh. The team looks good with good openers, excellent middle order batsmen with Ashgar Stanikzai and Nawroz Mangal and bowling dept will he lead by Shapoor Zadran. Mohammad Nabi, the captain is another asset into the team. Though they are an associate member, they look like they have been playing a lot of cricket among themselves back home because the quality of cricket they play is none less than the full time members. They were a part of the Asia Cup 2014 and also won a match against Bangladesh. So, it won’t be wrong to say that they can do the same this time around

Bangladesh:

Bangladesh is an unpredictable team. Sometimes, they play so quality and excellent cricket and sometimes they just fail to expectations. Last year, they were without a win in the Asia Cup while in 2012, they had reached the finals and almost won the Asia Cup. In the last year, they lost to India at home against a second grade team, which their skipper called it as. They failed to even qualify for the main tournament, i.e. the T20 World Cup 2014. Just when it was looking that Bangladesh cricket is blooming, they have failed to hold on to the expectation. However, they have got another opportunity here and with a new captain, i.e. Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh will look for a healthy start against Afghanistan in the World Cup.

Previous World Cup encounters: None

Team news: Afghanistan is looking good with one warm up game win over the UAE by 14 runs. They lost to India in the warm up match but that shouldn’t be taken that seriously. Bangladesh, on the other hand have lost both of their warm up matches, one to Pakistan in a close encounter and one to Ireland where their batting collapsed. That has been the story for Bangladesh, their inconsistency, is their weakness. The odds of tomorrow’s game are equal and the opportunity for both the teams look even. The one who steps up with confidence and delivers on the day will be the winner.

Key players to watch out for:

Afghanistan: Nawroz Mangal

The most experienced in the Afghanistan side, Nawroz Mangal is the man to watch out for. He starts his innings slowly and then gathers pace. He is an excellent player of spin and can play every shot from the coaching manual. His technique is admirable and that makes him a special talent in the Afghan side. The whole team is so much dependent on him and he never comes under real pressure. Wickets are down, you got Nawroj Mangal in the lower middle order who can carry forward the innings with no pressure. In the latter part, he can even play shots and up the run rate

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal

The dashing Bangladeshi opener will be the key man to Bangladesh’s start with the bat. If Afghanistan doesn’t get his wicket early, Tamim Iqbal will fire and can bring the bowling under pressure. He has to face the music of Shapoor Zadran though who is tall and comes in running. However, a good start at the top of the innings for Bangladesh will put pressure on the World Cup debutants Afghanistan. Watch out for Tamim Iqbal. 

Probable playing XI:

Afghanistan: Javed Ahmadi, Usman Ghani, Nawroj Mangal (c), Azghar Stanikzai, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Nabi (c), Afsar Zazai (wk), Mirwais Ashraf, Hamid Hassan, Aftab Alam, Shapoor Zadran. 

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Rubel Hossain, Soumya Hossain, Taskin Ahmed.

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    Archit Athani Writer

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