Teams in the T20 World Cup have to be wary of the threat Afghanistan pose, said former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram. Akram said that while Afghanistan may not qualify beyond the Super 10 stage, they could pose problems for teams fighting for a spot in the knockouts.
“Teams have to be wary of Afghanistan, I am telling you now. Apart from their batting, their bowlers are mystery bowlers. There is Rashid (Khan), Mujeeb Ur Rahman. There was a young boy who played in the PSL named Noor (Ahmad). He is a 16-year-old and he is a very different kind of chinaman. You can’t really understand his googly,” said Akram on Salaam Cricket 2021.
“Batsmen like Mohammad Nabi, they are not afraid of losing. Afghanistan can put many big teams under pressure. They have also played a lot of cricket in the UAE. They are a very, very dangerous side.”
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said that the fact that Afghanistan have no expectations on them makes them a difficult side to beat, in addition to the fact that data analysts of other teams may not have as much information on them as other sides.
“When there are no expectations weighing you down, you can just play without any fear. Afghanistan are an unknown quantity. Those who are handling data for the teams won’t have too much on Afghanistan. For teams, 20 overs might be too less to understand Afghanistan,” he said.
However, Afghanistan’s comparative inexperience in international cricket is a weakness, said Gavaskar.
“They have played a lot of IPL and PSL matches but they don’t have too much experience of the pressure that comes with international cricket,” he said