Afghanistan prepared well for 2016 World T20 qualifier. They have played 16 T20I and have won 13 matches which was the best win-loss ratio of any team in the world since then.
But, their opponents in those 16 matches were Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Scotland, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Oman and Zimbabwe. None of these teams featured in ICC’s top 10 ranking.
Former Pakistan batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq coached Afghanistan did not get a chance to play against a single higher ranking team as ICC’s cricket calendar overlooked them.
However, Afghanistan failed to qualify for Asia Cup as they lost to UAE in the final. A chance in the Asia Cup might gave them a chance to play with strong team like India and good bowling side like Pakistan recently That Afghanistan haven’t had a chance to play any of the top sides is mostly down to the way the cricket calendar is structured, and partly down to their own habit of fluffing their lines at important moments. But Afghanistan started the tournament as the favourite for qualifying for Asia Cup.
Key player to watch: Afghanistan are heavily filled with the pace attack. They have talented bowlers like Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hasan. So, at Indian pitches, they will he instrumental for Afghanistan’s qualification for Super 10.
Strength and weakness: Afghanistan have the edge, both in terms of genuine pace, with an attack comprising Dawlat Zadran, and the recently recalled new-ball duo of Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan, as well as spin, with options in Amir Hamza’s left-arm darts and Rashid Khan’s low-slung leg breaks.
Afghanistan’s batting, however, remains something of a weakness, with their line-up often unable to recover from early setbacks. Scotland’s best chance, therefore, is to strike with the new ball and put the middle order under pressure.
Expectations: It is expected that Afganistan dnZimbabwe will have an intense battle from group A. But in recent time, Afganistan have defeated Zimbabwe in back to back three matches T20 series.
Afghanistan’s qualification for super 10 will bring joy to a war-torn country of South East Asia and Afghan community in India.