Afghanistan’s journey in cricket has seen its lows and highs during their long struggle to achieve recognition at international arena. However since the beginning of 2015 til now, they have shown the best best win-loss ratio of any team in the world, a fact that makes them a potential threat to the international teams. They possess explosive capacity to gain victory against best of the teams, creating ripples in the cricket world. When we compare them to Scotland, Afghanistan emerges as favorites because of their long exposure into international cricket and also because of their brilliant record against associates.
Toss: Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat.
However, recently, they were defeated by UAE in Asia Cup and couldn’t qualify for the big event. This defeat must have worked as an eye-opener for them to locate the weak areas and strive to strengthen them. They faced the similar situation in 2014 World T20 when they lost an important game against Nepal and failed to qualify for the tournament. They haven’t played so many games against the recognized international teams and this makes them vulnerable to the associates. Playing against the likes of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh may give them enough experience to stay above the smaller teams.
Both these teams have already met during the 2015 World Cup when Samiullah Shenwari’s superb 96-runs innings paved the way for his team’s thrilling victory by one wicket with three balls remaining.
Scotland doesn’t have an impressive record in Asia as they have won only 6 games out of 25 played at Asian pitches. Nagpur pitch is likely to be a flat one which means Scotland’s expertise in bowling won’t give them edge over Afghanistan. They will need to bowl with accuracy and discipline and an agile fielding will have to support their bowling attack.
Afghanistan have the edge, both in terms of genuine pace, with an attack comprising Dawlat Zadran, and the recently recalled new-ball duo of Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan, as well as spin, with options in Amir Hamza’s left-arm darts and Rashid Khan’s low-slung legbreaks.
Highlights will be available shortly.