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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

GameDay Squad Cricket Squad Preview: Afghanistan

Afghanistan qualified for the CWC without having to go through the CWC qualifying tournament held in Zimbabwe. I can’t really see them competing for a Semi-Final spot but they have the squad that may be able to cause an upset or two throughout the tournament. Get the inside scoop on Afghanistan's Cricket Squad for the upcoming GameDay Squad competition with an in-depth analysis and preview. Find out who to watch out for!


Cricket Squad Preview

Squad


Noor Ahmad - Bowler

Ikram Alikhil – Wicket-keeper

Fazalhaq Farooqi – Bowler

Rahmanullah Gurbaz – Wicket-keeper

Riaz Hassan – Batter

Rashid Khan – Bowler

Mohammad Nabi – All-rounder

Azmatullah Omarzai – All-rounder

Abdul Rahman – Bowler

Mujeeb ur Rahman – Bowler

Rahmat Shah – All-rounder

Hashmatullah Shahidi – Batter

Naveen-ul-Haq – Bowler

Ibrahim Zadran – Batter

Najibullah Zadran – Batter


Batters


Afghanistan goes into the tournament with four players that have a batter position designation in GDS. When applying the GDS scoring to their stats over the last ten games played, I’ve come up with the following fantasy point averages for the batters.


Riaz Hassan – 35 points

Hashmatullah Shahidi – 30 points

Ibrahim Zadran – 48 points

Najibullah Zadran – 20 points


Looking at the recent form of these batters, none of them really catch my eye to be honest. However, going by their recent form it looks like Ibrahim Zadran might be the pick to the Afghanistan batters. Over his last ten ODIs he’s scored one 100, three 50s, one 30+ score and four scores of less than 7, including two ducks against Pakistan in August. I have Shahidi and Najibullah Zadran ranked in a tier below Ibrahim Zadran as they haven’t shown the same sort of form in 2023. Over Shahidi ’s last ten ODIs he’s scored three 50s, and seven scores of less than 22, including a duck. Over Najibullah Zadran’s last nine ODIs he’s scored one 50 and eight scores of less than 23. I tend to favour Shahidi out of these two batters as he is the captain and likely to play in all their matches. Hassan is likely not to play many games but can be a solid option depending on the opposition.


Bowlers


Afghanistan goes into the tournament with six players that have a bowler position designation in GDS. When applying the GDS scoring to their stats over the last ten games played, I’ve come up with the following fantasy point averages for the bowlers.


Noor Ahmad – 30 points

Fazalhaq Farooqi – 57 points

Rashid Khan – 74 points

Abdul Rahman – 28 points

Mujeeb ur Rahman – 73 points

Naveen-ul-Haq – 82 points


Afghanistan has a well-balanced bowling attack with Khan and ur Rahman being the pick of their bowlers for me. On the pitches in India these two spinners might cause all sorts of challenges for opposing batsmen. Over Khan’s last nine ODIs he has bowled 82 overs, taken 13 wickets and averages 3 dot balls an over. Over ur Rahman’s last ten ODIs he has bowled 88 overs, taken 13 wickets and averages 3.4 dot balls an over. Afghanistan’s opening seam bowlers Farooqi and ul-Haq are in my next tier down as I think it will be the spin bowlers that offer a higher ceiling than the seamers do. They can be very useful cards to have if it looks like the pitch may favour seam bowlers. Ahmad and Rahman are likely not to play many games but can be solid options depending on the opposition.


Cricket Squad Review

All-rounders


Afghanistan doesn’t have as many all-rounders as other teams and head into the tournament with three players that have the all-rounder position designation in GDS. Nabi and Omarzai are the bowling all-rounders and Shah is the batting all-arounder. When applying the GDS scoring to their stats over the last ten games played, I’ve come up with the following fantasy point averages for the all-rounders.


Mohammad Nabi – 60 points

Azmatullah Omarzai – 43 points

Rahmat Shah – 31 points


When choosing which all-rounder to play in your squad it really depends on where Afghanistan is playing, who their opposition is and the pitch conditions. It looks all three all-rounders are likely to be starting for Afghanistan in most games. Over Nabi’s last ten ODIs he has scored one 50, eight scores between 1-29, bowled 71 overs, taken 9 wickets and averages 2.6 dot balls an over. Over Omarzai’s last ten ODIs he has scored one 50, four scores between 2-28, bowled 55 overs, taken 5 wickets and averages 3.3 dot balls an over. Over Shah’s last ten ODIs he has scored one 50, three 30+ scores, four scores between 2-22 and two ducks. He has only bowled one over in the last twelve months and is my third ranked all-rounder for Afghanistan. Nabi is the pick of my all-rounders as he offers more upside with the ball than the other two.


Wicket Keeper


Afghanistan goes into the tournament with two players that have a wicket-keeper position designation in GDS. When applying the GDS scoring to their stats over the last ten games played, I’ve come up with the following fantasy point averages for the wicket keepers.


Rahmanullah Gurbaz – 52 points

Ikram Alikhil – 31 points


Gurbaz is the pick of the Afghanistan keepers for me. He has been their opening batter for some time and usually you’ll see him behind the stumps when Afghanistan is in the field. Alikhil will likely not play as many games as Gurbaz but every now and then they both play in the starting XI. When they do, Alikhil can be the one behind the stumps. However, he does usually come in further down the batting order in these situations. When they both play, I believe Gurbaz still holds more appeal as a starting option for my squad.


Predicted Starting XI


1. Rahmanullah Gurbaz

2. Ibrahim Zadran

3. Rahmat Shah

4. Hashmatullah Shahidi

5. Najibullah Zadran

6. Mohammad Nabi

7. Azmatullah Omarzai

8. Rashid Khan

9. Mujeeb ur Rahman

10. Naveen-ul-Haq

11. Fazalhaq Farooqi


 

Cricket Squad Review


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