Afghanistan Team in T20 World Cup
Afghanistan Squad for the T20 World Cup 2022
Mohammad Nabi (c), Najibullah Zadran (vc), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Darwish Rasooli, Farid Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Naveen ul Haq, Qais Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Salim Safi, Usman Ghani
Team Match Schedule
Strengths – Afghanistan’s entry into international cricket happened at a time when T20 cricket was gaining popularity. In the decade that has followed, the team has played close to 100 T20Is. What that has meant is that the Afghanistan team is made up of players whose primary focus has always been T20s and it reflects in the way they have so many of their players turning out for franchises in T20 leagues. Thus, the biggest strength of this Afghanistan team is that they know this format very well, possibly even better than the most.
Weaknesses – The team’s performance on the big stage of World Cups reflects an inability to stand up against bigger teams. The team dominated Scotland and Namibia in the Super 12 of the previous World Cup but were absolutely dominated by the bigger teams in the group. Despite the experience of playing so much short format cricket, none of it comes to the rescue of the Afghanistan team when facing top-ranked teams.
Opportunities – Rashid Khan is easily one of the greatest spinners to have emerged in white ball cricket. By turning in match-winning performances for whichever team he has turned out for, he has shown that conditions do not matter to him. However, how Rashid will fare against the big hitting Australian and English batsmen in Australia would make for fascinating viewing. Rashid was impressive even in the last World Cup but the challenge as well as the opportunity for him in the World Cup would be to not only be impressive but also win matches against the big side to further strengthen his reputation.
Threats – Afghanistan find themselves in a rather scary group with top three contenders – Australia, England and New Zealand – fighting against them in Super 12s. To pull off an upset against these teams seems like a far-fetched thought considering the kind of form they are in. Besides, as a team, Afghanistan has never played in Australia before.
Afghanistan Team’s Performance in T20 World Cup
Although Afghanistan have been playing the shortest format at the international level from 2009, not too often have they been up against the top-ranked teams in the last decade except for the World Cup stage. They played the World T20 for the first time in 2010 in the Caribbean but except for a win against West Indies in a rather inconsequential match in the 2016 tournament, they haven’t done any giant-killing in the T20 World Cup, with most of their wins coming against lowly placed teams in the ICC rankings. However, in the matches that they play outside the multilateral tournament, Afghanistan continues to shine. They even handed West Indies a 2-1 defeat in 2019 and treat Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in similar fashion in bilateral T20Is series.
But the World Cup challenge has always proved to be too big for the Afghan team and in conditions of Australia, the development of Afghanistan cricket in general will be really tested. A number of Afghan cricketers, including the talismanic Rashid Khan, regularly turn out in T20 leagues across the world but the team doesn’t put up a fight when assembled against the top-ranked teams. Even in the previous World Cup, held in a country where Afghanistan cricketers play a lot, the team surrendered meekly to the stronger teams in their Super 12 group.
In the 2022 World Cup, Afghanistan have booked a place for themselves in the Super 12s. Their group will have Australia, New Zealand and England. Two more teams from the Qualifiers will join these four once the Super 12s kick off. In the past, Afghanistan have played New Zealand once and England twice.They lost all the three contests. They’re yet to face Australia in T20Is.
Facts and Stats about the Afghanistan T20 Team
- During their match against Pakistan in the last year’s T20 World Cup, Rashid Khan became the fastest to 100 T20I wickets by getting his 100th scalp in just his 53rd match.
- Rashid Khan is one of the only four bowlers to have taken four wickets in four balls in T20I cricket. He achieved this feat against Ireland in 2019.
- Afghanistan made 278/3 against Ireland in a 2019 T20I which remains the highest team score in T20Is. The same match saw Hazratullah Zazai and Usman Ghani put on 236 runs for the first wicket, which is also a record for the highest partnership in T20Is for any wicket.
- The Afghanistan cricket team jointly holds the record for most consecutive wins in T20I cricket along with India and Romania. Between February 2018 to September 2019, Afghanistan went on a 12-match unbeaten streak.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Afghanistan T20 Squad
How did Afghanistan fare in the 2021 T20 World Cup?
Afghanistan managed to progress to the Super 12s but lost to New Zealand, India and Pakistan there while managing wins against Scotland and Nambia. They didn’t progress to the semi-finals of the tournament.
When did Afghanistan start playing cricket at the international level?
Afghanistan made their international debut with a T20I in 2009. They played in the T20 World Cup in the following year.
Who is the captain of Afghanistan in T20Is?