The Afghanistan cricket team is gearing up for the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup, which begins on October 5 in Ahmedabad, India. They kick off their campaign against Bangladesh on Saturday, October 7 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharmshala.
Afghanistan team, led by Hashmatullah Shahidi, has a formidable spin bowling attack, and a decent batting unit. However, they will be greatly challenged in the upcoming World Championship. In this article, we analyse the Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Afghanistan’s squad.
SWOT Analysis of Afghanistan squad
Afghanistan’s spin bowling arsenal has been their key weapon. The presence of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman makes it a deadly bowling attack, especially in Indian conditions that offer assistance to spinners. Mujeeb and Rashid are third and fourth-ranked bowlers respectively in ODI cricket at the moment.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman has picked 93 wickets in 66 ODI matches at an average of 25.86, including three four-wicket hauls and a five-wicket haul. Meanwhile, Rashid Khan has played 94 ODIs, picking up 172 wickets at an average of 19.53, with four five-wicket hauls. He is Afghanistan’s leading wicket-taker in ODI matches. Mohammad Nabi is second on the list with 154 wickets.
Afghanistan’s batting attack will be tested at the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup against high-quality teams. They have a decent unit, but it hasn’t been consistent. They need to ensure that they don’t falter under pressure in crunch situations. The likes of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, and Ibrahim Zadran have to take responsibility at the top of the order. Despite two centuries, Gurbaz hasn’t been consistent this year. He averages 34.18 in eleven matches, scoring 376 runs.
Afghanistan defeated Bangladesh 2-1 in the ODI series earlier this year. They have the potential to cause upsets in the 2023 ODI World Cup, given their great spin bowling attack. It will be an opportunity for Afghanistan to punch above its weight and once again showcase that they are one of the rising powers in world cricket.
Afghanistan has to deal with the pressure of performing at the big stage. They have often crumbled in pressure situations, and have to keep their nerves under control this time. Their recent performance in the Asia Cup and the ODI series against Pakistan has been disappointing. They have to move on from the previous losses and make a fresh start.
Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen ul Haq