ICC World Cup 2019: What to expect from Afghanistan in the tournament?

ICC World Cup 2019: What to expect from Afghanistan in the tournament?

If conditions favour, Afghanistan can punch above their weight.

Afghanistan players
Afghanistan players. (Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Afghanistan was on the edge of getting eliminated before the Super-6s round in the World Cup Qualification tournament played in Zimbabwe last year. Bit of luck and some sensational performances helped them to finish as champions of the tournament and qualify for the World event. Their bowling attack is something that could threaten even some of the top-class batting line-ups.

However, their batting is something they worry about as they struggle to get going against bowling attack comprising quick bowlers. In the World Cup, they might face such challenges often. Considering their strengths and weaknesses, Afghans should be disappointed if they finish with less than three victories. If Afghanistan can punch above their weight with pitches favouring them, they can even win as many as six matches which could keep them alive for a semi-final spot.

The toughest match-ups for Afghans:

Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi
Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Afghanistan’s opening game is against Australia in Bristol where they defeated Pakistan in the warm-up. For Afghans to beat the defending champions, they need to play on extreme dry conditions. If their spin trio can limit the Australians around 150 while bowling first, they can have a chance. With the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the opposition, they might find it tough to touch 200.

Afghanistan might not find a favourable track against the hosts England as they play at Old Trafford. The bounce at Manchester won’t help the Afghan batsmen and while Hamid Hasan and Dawlat Zadran might not be enough. The South African bowling attack will possess the same threat as the Aussies. If Cardiff provides a two-paced track, Afghanistan can fancy their chances in defending 200 against a collapse friendly Saffers batting.