Afghanistan became the first nation from Group B to advance to the 2022 Asia Cup‘s Super-4 round, UAE. With the conclusion of all of the group stage games in both groups, Afghanistan has joined India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the Super-4 stage. These teams will compete in a round robin format for a place in the final, which will be played on September 11, 2022.

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Strenghts: Spin bowling

Spin has always been Afghanistan’s strength. Players like Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman are second to none in their department. While the former is world no 3, the latter is ninth. 

Both of them wrecked the Bangladeshi lineup. Ur Rahman took a wicket each in his first three overs in the powerplay. He single handedly removed Bangladesh’s top order.

Rashid Khan finished with figures of 3/22 . Skipper Mohammad Nabi is also a seasoned spinner who can provide crucial breakthroughs.

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Weakness: Batting

The batting is comparatively much weaker than their bowling. It is inexperienced. Debutant Rahmanullah Gurbaz has been in good form in the powerplay overs, but still hasn’t converted the starts into big scores. This year, Afghanistan’s Najibullah Zadran and Hazratullah Zazai have performed well, although they have not yet faced quality bowling attacks like those of India and Pakistan. Nabi and Khan can do a decent job in the middle order, but Afghans would need better than decent to qualify the Group-4s stage.

Opportunities: Chance to make it to the final of the Asia Cup for the first time

Afghanistan cricket team has always been a case of too near yet too far. In the last World Cup, they came very close to defeating India, but were blown apart by Mohammad Shami hattrick. Not only that, in the previous edition of the Asia Cup, they tied the game with India, where they were able to bowl out the Indian lineup consisting the likes of KL Rahul, Dinesh Kartik and MS Dhoni. Still, in this tournament, they have surprised every one not once but twice by defeating a much stronger team in a group were Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were the favourites. This is their best chance to play in the final of Asia Cup.

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Threats: Lack of experience playing against top teams

All teams at this stage are ranked higher than Afghanistan (#10), with heavyweights India (#1) and Pakistan (#3) in the top 3. Afghanistan usually faces weaker opposition, however since 2020, they have defeated Ireland in a T20I series, defeated Zimbabwe twice, and tied Bangladesh once. But they still haven’t been able to cross the line against top tier teams like India, Australia and Pakistan. However, this should not deter the team as they qualified by defeating Sri Lanka (#8) and Bangladesh (#9), both of which are higher ranked than them, in group B.