‘Don’t be surprised if Afghanistan knock either IND or PAK out of Asia Cup’ – Hindustan Times

Published on Aug 31, 2022 11:42 AM IST

The Mohammad Nabi-led Afghan unit kicked-off the campaign with a handsome eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka and they carried forward the momentum, beating Shakib al Hasan’s Bangladesh by seven wickets on Tuesday evening.

Rashid Khan celebrates after picking a wicket at the Asia Cup 2022(Afghanistan Cricket Board Twitter)
Rashid Khan celebrates after picking a wicket at the Asia Cup 2022(Afghanistan Cricket Board Twitter)

Afghanistan have been the surprise element in the Asia Cup 2022. The Mohammad Nabi-led Afghan unit kicked-off the campaign with a handsome eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka and they carried forward the momentum, beating Shakib al Hasan’s Bangladesh by seven wickets on Tuesday evening.

Having impressed many with their clinical show at the continental event, former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja fired warning signals to both India and Pakistan “to be wary” of them in the Super Four.

“Teams should be wary when they play these guys in Super 4s. When you play these guys in the Super 4, I won’t be surprised if they knock one of the big teams off,” Jadeja remarked while speaking on Cricbuzz on Tuesday.

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Jadeja considers bowling to be Afghanistan’s biggest strength but also hailed the batters for understanding and playing as per the situation. “They have the firepower, bowling everyone knows what they can do. Imagine either of the teams, India or Pakistan, is 20/2 or 30/2, then they won’t allow you to make a comeback. These guys have that ability.

“Now with their batting they’ve showed that their openers can play in a certain way. So if you’re an analyst for India or Pakistan, how are you going to plan, what are you thinking? They can come and surprise you and the rest of the team surprises even more,” the ex-cricketer further explained.

Watch: Afghanistan’s Najibullah Zadran shatters two T20I world records with 6 sixes against Bangladesh in Asia Cup

Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has so far been the standout performer among the bowlers. He has so far scalped five wickets in the two matches Afghanistan have played so far. Rashid Khan, the team’s premier spinner, has managed three scalps in the same number of matches but has been the most economical bowler in the Afghanistan camp. Rashid’s economy currently stands at 4.25.

The batters, which include the likes of Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, and Najibullah Zadran, have been in good touch. In fact in the match against Bangladesh, Ibrahim and Najibullah added 69-run for the fourth wicket in just 33 balls as both played unbeaten knocks to guide their side home. Ibrahim scored 42 off 41 balls, while Najibullah dismantled the Bangladesh bowling attack as he smashed a 17-ball 43, which featured one 4 and six 6s.

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