Wake up, Afghanistan is coming, Mohammad Shahzad and Shahidi warn other teams ahead of the World Cup

Wake up, Afghanistan is coming, Mohammad Shahzad and Shahidi warn other teams ahead of the World Cup

Afghanistan are set to play their second World Cup this year.

Hashmatullah Shahidi
Hashmatullah Shahidi. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Afghanistan is preparing for their second Test match ever, which will be played against Ireland from March 15. Their proposed series against Zimbabwe got cancelled due to broadcast disagreement, but the Afghan team is looking ready for their second foray into the ICC World Cup.

Afghanistan won the qualifiers in 2018 after a miraculous comeback and beat Windies in the finals. Their debut in the World Cup came in 2015 edition in Australia and New Zealand, where they managed to beat Scotland to attain their first win in the ICC mega event.

Warning bugle sounded by Mohammad Shahzad

The Afghan team has been one of the most exciting teams in the world ever since their maiden performance at the World Cup. They have grown leaps and bounds and their best performance came in the Asia Cup 2018, where they defeated Sri Lanka and tied the match with India. They have proven that no team can afford to take them lightly.

Their batsmen Hasmatullah Shahidi has sounded the warning bugle for the other teams and was quoted by ICC saying, “Now, it is not like it was before. In 2015, people said it is a proud moment that Afghanistan is a part of the World Cup. It is not the time for that. Now, it is time to say this to everyone else: ‘Wake up, Afghanistan is coming!”

Effective team combination makes Afghanistan formidable

Afghanistan has probably one of the best spin attacks in the world with two young spinners in Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan in their ranks. They have an up and coming left-arm chinaman in Zahir Khan Paktin and the experience of Mohammad Nabi leading the spin pack.

Afghanistan’s explosive batsman and wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad said, “We could beat just one team, Scotland, in the 2015 World Cup, this time we are better prepared with spinners like Mujeeb, Rashid, Nabi and Zahir Khan in our ranks. We are trying our best to perform better in the 2019 World Cup and beat four-five teams in the competition.”

However, the challenge of playing in the English conditions, where pace and seam bowling is the key to success, it remains to be seen how the Afghanistani team will adjust to the conditions. Speaking on the same, Shahidi mentioned that Afghanistani players have been to England before and know how to play there. The team will tour Scotland and Ireland before the commencement of the World Cup and Shahid termed it good preparation.

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