Harsha Bhogle isn’t sure if Afghanistan picked enough bowlers in their World Cup 2019 squad
The ACB selectors picked the side from a pool of 23 players who had been training in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Published - Apr 23, 2019 7:40 pm | Updated - Apr 23, 2019 7:40 pm
Afghanistan announced their 15-man squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 on Monday. The Asian side, which is one of the fastest growing cricketing nations in the world, will be playing their second WC after making debut in the 2015 edition. The squad will be led by Gulbadin Naib who recently replaced long-standing captain Asghar Afghan, much to the dismay of many senior members of the team.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board’s selection committee has picked the side from a pool of 23 players who had been training in Potchefstroom, South Africa, based on their performances and fitness over the last six months. The national team has played 111 ODIs so far and have won 57 of them with a success rate of 53.24. In 2015, they won one game which was a narrow one-wicket win over Scotland.
“It is has been a six-month preparation process for the ICC Cricket World Cup. The mission is to play inspirational cricket in the tournament. I know there are strong teams but we will do our level best to achieve our goals,” chief selector Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai said.
“As chief selector, it is my duty to select a competitive team. However, there were some challenges that we needed to handle. We selected the best squad considering factors such as experience, fitness, team balance, current form and conditions.”
Afghanistan, who won the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe last year to reach WC 2019 at the expense of an experienced side like Zimbabwe, and will play their first game of the tournament against Australia in Bristol on June 1.
However, ace Indian cricket commentator and analyst Harsha Bhogle felt the Afghanistan side is a bit short on the bowling side though he did not specify whether he thought so about the fast bowling or spinning department.
Looking at the Afghanistan team for the World Cup. Looks a bit short on bowling?
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 22, 2019
Veteran pacer Hamid Hassan recalled
Afghanistan recalled veteran pacer Hamid Hassan, who was with them in WC 2015 and last played an international game in 2016. Dawlat Zadran and Aftab Alam are the other two pacers while Shapoor Zadran was overlooked. They also kept Karim Janat and Sayed Shirzad – both pacers – as reserve players. Afghanistan, however, will be banking on their spinning troika Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman for causing upsets in the tournament.
Afghanistan squad for World Cup 2019: Gulbadin Naib (captain), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Asghar Afghan, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Noor Ali Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hassan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.
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