Afghanistan is one of the most exciting and unpredictable teams in the cricket world. They have come a long way from being an associate member to a full-fledged ODI nation and have qualified for their third consecutive World Cup.
In this blog post, I will give you an overview of the ICC World Cup 2023 Afghanistan Squad Player List, match schedule, strengths and weaknesses, key players, recent performances, and predictions for the upcoming mega event.
Consider reading: Bangladesh Vs Afghanistan ICC World Cup 2023
ICC World Cup 2023 Afghanistan Squad Player List
Afghanistan has announced a 15-member squad for the World Cup, led by Hashmatullah Shahidi, who is also their top-order batsman. The squad features a mix of experienced and young players, with a strong emphasis on spin bowling.
Here is the ICC World Cup 2023 Afghanistan Squad Player List:
|Player||Role||Batting Style||Bowling Style|
|Hashmatullah Shahidi ©||Middle order Batter||Left-handed||Right-arm off break|
|Ibrahim Zadran||Opening Batter||Right-handed||Right-arm medium-fast|
|Riaz Hassan||Batting Allrounder||Right-handed||Legbreak|
|Rahmat Shah||Middle order Batter||Right-handed||Legbreak Googly|
|Najibullah Zadran||Middle order Batter||Left-handed||Right-arm off break|
|Mohammad Nabi||Allrounder||Right-handed||Right-arm off break|
|Azmatullah Omarzai||Batting Allrounder||Left-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|Rashid Khan||Bowler||Right-handed||Legbreak Googly|
|Mujeeb Ur Rahman||Bowler||Right-handed||Offbreak|
|Noor Ahmad||Bowler||Left-handed||Slow left-arm chinaman|
|Fazalhaq Farooqi||Bowler||Left-handed||Left-arm fast-medium|
|Abdul Rahman||Bowler||Left-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox|
Source: Afghanistan Cricket Board
IICC World Cup 2023 Afghanistan Matches
Afghanistan is placed in Group B of the World Cup, along with Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Pakistan. They will play seven matches in the group stage, starting from October 7 to November 5.
Here is the full match schedule for the Afghanistan cricket team in the ICC World Cup 2023:
- October 7: Bangladesh vs Afghanistan at Dharamsala
- October 11: India vs Afghanistan at Delhi
- October 15: England vs Afghanistan at Delhi
- October 18: New Zealand vs Afghanistan at Chennai
- October 23: Australia vs Afghanistan at Mumbai
- October 28: Netherlands vs Afghanistan at Kolkata
- November 5: Pakistan vs Afghanistan at Ahmedabad
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Afghanistan Squad
Afghanistan’s biggest strength is its spin bowling department, which boasts world-class performers like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, and Noor Ahmad. They can trouble any batting line-up with their variations, accuracy, and guile. They also have some explosive batsmen like Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, and Azmatullah Omarzai, who can take the game away from the opposition in a matter of overs.
However, Afghanistan also has some glaring weaknesses that could hamper its chances of progressing to the knockout stage. Their batting is inconsistent and prone to collapses, especially against quality pace bowling. Their fielding and fitness levels are also not up to par compared to other teams. Moreover, they lack experience playing in Indian conditions, which could be a disadvantage in a long tournament.
Key Players to Watch Out for in ICC World Cup 2023 Afghanistan Squad Player List
Among the 15 players in the ICC World Cup 2023 Afghanistan Squad Player List, there are a few who stand out as potential match-winners for Afghanistan. Here are some of them:
- Rashid Khan: The star spinner and vice-captain of the team is undoubtedly the most valuable player for Afghanistan. He is ranked as the No.1 T20I bowler and the No.2 ODI bowler in the world by ICC. He has taken 140 wickets in 74 ODIs at an average of 18.55 and an economy rate of 4.16. He can also contribute with the bat lower down the order, as he has a strike rate of 114.58 in ODIs. He will be the main threat for any team facing Afghanistan.
- Rahmanullah Gurbaz: The young wicketkeeper-batsman is one of the most exciting prospects in Afghan cricket. He made his ODI debut in March this year and has already scored two centuries and two fifties in nine matches. He has an impressive average of 60.88 and a strike rate of 101.01 in ODIs. He can also open the batting cage and provide quick starts for his team.
- Mohammad Nabi: The veteran all-rounder is one of the most experienced and reliable players in the squad. He has played 136 ODIs and scored 2877 runs at an average of 30.07 and a strike rate of 83.97. He has also taken 136 wickets at an average of 32.11 and an economy rate of 4.27. He can bat anywhere in the order and bowl economical off-spin in any situation. He is also a brilliant fielder and a calm leader on the field.
Recent Performances in ODIs by Afghanistan
Here is a summary of Afghanistan cricket team’s recent ODI results:
|July 5||Bangladesh||Dhaka||Won by 17 runs (DLS)|
|August 24||Pakistan||Hambantota||Lost by 1 wicket|
|August 26||Pakistan||Colombo||Lost by 59 runs|
Afghanistan Performance in World Cup Matches
Afghanistan has participated in two World Cups so far, in 2015 and 2019. They have won only one match out of 15 that they have played in the mega event. Here is a brief overview of their World Cup history:
- In 2015, they made their World Cup debut and were placed in Pool A with Australia, Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Sri Lanka. They lost five matches and won one against Scotland by one wicket. They finished sixth in their group and failed to qualify for the quarterfinals.
- In 2019, they were placed in a single group of ten teams with Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and West Indies. They lost all nine matches and finished last in the group. Their closest matches were against India and Pakistan, which they lost by 11 runs and three wickets respectively.
Prediction of Afghanistan’s Performance in ICC World Cup 2023
Afghanistan will be hoping to improve their record and performance in the World Cup this time. They have a balanced and talented squad that can challenge any team on their day. However, they will also face tough competition from the other teams in their group, especially the top-ranked ones like India, England, New Zealand, and Australia. They will need to play out of their skins and hope for some favorable results to make it to the semi-finals.
My prediction is that Afghanistan will win two or three matches in the group stage, but will not be able to qualify for the knockouts. They will finish seventh or eighth in the group. However, they will also cause some upsets and give some memorable performances along the way. They will earn respect and admiration from the cricket fans around the world.
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