Team Profile, Afghanistan: The Minnows Would Seek To Create A Flutter In The UK
Afghanistan boast some exciting players, but their 50-over credentials will be sorely challenged.
- Afghanistan will participate in a 50-over World Cup for the second time
- They played six games in the 2015 edition of the World Cup
- Gulbadin Naib was recently named Afghanistan ODI skipper
Afghanistan, playing their second World Cup, will be hoping for a better display from the one they had in 2015, where they played six games, winning one against Scotland by one wicket. They have some very exciting players who could make an impression in World Cup 2019.
Gulbadin Naib (captain)
Naib, who was recently named Afghanistan ODI skipper in place of Asghar Afghan, has taken 31 ODI wickets in 33 innings in the past three years, at an economy of 4.36, his best spell of 4-27 coming against Zimbabwe in 21 Feb 2017.
Naib played one match in the 2015 World Cup, against Scotland.
Wicketkeeper Shahzad is one of the characters of the Afghan squad. He has scored 913 runs in 31 ODIs, with an average of 26.3 and a strike rate of 82.15. His best
score is 124 off 116 balls against India at the Asia Cup in 2018.
Shahzad scored 203 runs in the 2018 WC Qualifiers, with an average of 33.83, his highest being 84 vs West Indies.
Noor Ali Zadran
The opener scored 249 runs in 16 innings at an average of 14.15 in 2016 and 2017, his highest score being 51 vs Ireland in March 2017. He didn't play an ODI in 2018 after which he played one ODI against Ireland in March 2019.
Zadran played in one WC Qualifier in 2009, against Scotland where he scored 45 off 28 balls.
The left-hander made his ODI debut against Ireland in August 2018. He has played six matches and scored 155 runs at an average of 25.83 with a strike rate 106.89. He is more known for his T20 exploits, most notably when he scored 162 not out off 62 balls vs Ireland at a strike rate of 261.29.
This is Hazratullah Zazai's first World Cup.
The batting all-rounder has had a pretty good 2017 and 2018, with 1273 in 36 ODIs, averaging 38.67, with his personal best of 114 off 110 balls coming against Zimbabwe in February 2018. His 2019 hasn't been that great, though, with 109 runs in five matches at an average of 21.80.
He played seven games in the World Cup Qualifier in 2018, where he scored 234 runs at an average of 33.42.
Formerly known as Asghar Stanikzai, Afghan's past two years haven't been of note, with 585 runs at an average of 22.26, the only standout performance being 101 vs Ireland in March 2017. His 2019 was decent, with 226 runs in five matches, averaging 75.33.
Asghar played five games in the 2015 World Cup, with 72 runs at an average of 14.40. He scored a 50 against Sri Lanka.
Shahidi had a very good 2018, where he scored 353 runs in eight ODIs, with an average of 58.83, his best score being 97 not out vs Pakistan at the 2018 Asia
Cup. In 2019, he has played only three ODIs in which he scored 52 vs Ireland early in March.
This is Hashmatullah Shahidi's first World Cup.
Zadran had a pretty good 2018, scoring 373 runs off 13 innings, averaging 41.44 at a strike rate of 94.43. He has continued that in 2019, where he scored a century against Ireland in March.
He played six games in the 2015 World Cup, scoring 123 runs, including a 50 against New Zealand.
The all-rounder was more productive with the bat, scoring 341 runs in 17 ODIs in 2017 and 2018, averaging 24.04, his most notable outing being 62 vs Ireland in March 2017.
He played rather well in the 2015 World Cup, scoring 254 runs in six games, his best score being a match-winning 96 vs Scotland.
The all-rounder is one of the spin-trio that is expected to make a mark in the WC. He has collected 49 wickets in
41 ODIs with an economy of 4.27 in the last three years, while also scoring 880 runs, at an average of 29.09, striking at 84.53.
Nabi played six games in the 2015 World Cup, scoring 90 runs and taking three wickets.
Another part of the trio, Rashid has been fantastic, with 96 wickets in 39 innings in the last three years, his economy rate being a brilliant 3.87. His best figures are a magnificent 7-18 vs West Indies in June 2017, earning him the man-of-the-match award.
Rashid was good in the 2018 WC Qualifiers as well, scalping 14 wickets in seven games at an economy of 4.6, his best figures being 5-41 vs UAE.
The fast bowler has been decent in the last three years, taking 33 wickets in 26 ODIs at an economy rate of 4.97, his best figures of 4-53 coming against Ireland in March 2017.
Zadran took six wickets in five matches in the 2015 World Cup, his best spell being 3-29 vs Scotland, where his economy rate was 2.9.
Alam came out of a two-year hiatus to play an ODI against Ireland in August 2018. He had played nine ODIs until then and has taken 15 wickets, his best figures being 4-25 vs Ireland in March 2019.
Alam played only one game in the 2015 World Cup, against Bangladesh, where his figures were 2-55 in nine overs.
The pacer has been recalled after a three-year hiatus, playing his last ODI vs Ireland in July 2016. He has been out due to heel, knee, and thigh injuries.
He had a decent World Cup stint in 2015, taking eight wickets in six games, with an economy of 5.11, his best spell being 3-45 vs Sri Lanka.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
The youngest of the spin-trio, Mujeeb has had a brilliant 2018, after making his debut vs Ireland in December 2017. He took 37 wickets in 20 ODIs, with an economy of 3.84, his best spell being 5-50 vs Zimbabwe on February 2018.
He was brilliant in the 2018 WC Qualifiers too, taking 16 wickets in seven games, his best spell being 4-43 vs the Windies.