Asia Cup 2022: Super Four, Match 5 – Predicted Afghanistan Playing XI vs India

The 20-year-old wicket-keeper batter Rahmanulah Gurbaz is the fourth leading run-scorer of the tournament with 152 runs.

Afghanistan Team
Afghanistan Team. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Koustav Sengupta

Jr. Staff Writer

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After a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of Pakistan, Afghanistan is now out of the Asia Cup title race. With their defeat, Team India’s dream of qualifying for the finals of the competition is also over. Irrespective of the fact, both the teams will lock horns on Thursday (8th of September) with the hope of winning at least one of their Super Four matches.

In a low-scoring fight, the Afghans showed their intent and were dedicated to win the match against Pakistan. However, two back-to-back sixes by Naseem Shah in the final over changed the complexion of the game. Other than that, it was a solid performance by the team and they will look forward to do something similar in Dubai against India.

Here's Afghanistan's Predicted XI:

Openers: Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk)

The opening pair of Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz has given good starts in the majority of the matches. The duo has an opening stand of 180 runs in the tournament. As India has been unable to take wickets with the new ball, Zazai and Gurabz can be a huge threat for the Indian bowling line-up.

The 20-year-old wicket-keeper batter Gurbaz has scored 152 runs in the tournament so far. He is the fourth-highest run scorer of the tournament and the player with the highest individual score (84 against Sri Lanka) in the tournament. Gurbaz loves to play aggressive shots upfront and thus India needs to get him out early to stop the runflow.

His opening partner Hazratullah Zazai has 93 runs to his name after four matches. He needs to get better and with just one game left for Afghanistan in the tournament, the southpaw should be fearless and take the attack to the opposition. That is his strength after all. 

Middle Order: Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran and Karim Janat

Ibrahim Zadran at number three is the pillar of Afghanistan batting order. He plays the role of an anchor and holds one end while the others around him take charge. Against Pakistan, his 35 runs proved very important as Afghanistan could only score 129 over 20 overs. He is the silent hero of the squad which helps other batters bat freely.

Najibullah Zadran is known to play fearless cricket but has suffered from inconsistency. After a blistering innings against Bangladesh, Zadran failed to cope with the pressure and was dismissed early against Pakistan. However, on his day, he can rip apart any opponent.

Karim Janat didn’t get enough opportunities to bat in the tournament. He is known to stabilise the innings and that’s why he was promoted against Pakistan. Unfortunately, he couldn’t capitalise on that. Janat was dismissed for 15. His strike rate in T20Is is also something that the 24-year-old needs to think about.

All-Rounders: Mohammad Nabi (c), Rashid Khan and Azmatullah Omarzai

The captain of the Afghanistan team, Mohammad Nabi is yet to come to the party. Popularly known as the professor, Nabi has picked three wickets in the tournament so far. A lot was expected from him before the start of the tournament but he hasn’t displayed his class yet. With the experience of playing IPL, it needs to be seen whether Nabi goes all-out against India or not!

Rashid Khan has picked six wickets in the tournament so far. His impact however is hard to measure. The leg spinner has been economical and is the leader of the bowling unit. Against some known faces in the Indian camp, Rashid can actually become a huge threat.

Azmatuallah Omarzai missed the game against Sri Lanka but made his return against Pakistan. The 22-year-old is yet to make a significant contribution in the tournament. His strike rate is also a matter of concern.

Bowlers:  Fareed Ahmad Malik, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Fareed Ahmad Malik replaced Naveen-ul-Haq in the XI for the clash against Pakistan and proved his worth immediately. His toe-crushing yorkers and ability to vary the pace helped Fareed pick three wickets against Pakistan. With the hope of playing next year’s IPL, the 28-year-old will be charged up to play well against the Men in Blue.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been the heartbeat of the team. As the batters are going slow against Rashid Khan these days, Mujeeb has emerged as a real threat. The 21-year-old has picked seven wickets in the tournament so far and has been extremely economical. 

Fazalhaq Farooqi has picked up six wickets in the tournament but the last over against Pakistan did not go according to his plan. Despite that, he is considered as a top talent in the cricketing world.

Here’s Afghanistan’s predicted playing XI: Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c)  Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi.