by Rex Clementine

They maybe not one of the favourites to win the ICC T-20 World Cup, but they certainly can upset certain leading contenders hopes as they have done over the years.

In the 2016 T-20 World Cup, Afghanistan beat West Indies, who eventually went onto win the title. In this year’s Asia Cup, they gave Sri Lanka a hiding bowling them out for 105 runs. Sri Lanka bounced back from the defeat on their way to their sixth Asia Cup title.

The thing about Afghanistan is that they are an ever improving team. This is the second consecutive time that they have gained automatic qualification for the main event without playing qualifiers.

It remains to be seen how the Afghans will fare in Australian conditions as spin is their strength. In Rashid Khan, they have a global superstar, who bamboozles world’s leading batters with his leg-spin and wrong’uns.

Rashid is well backed up in the spin department with captain Mohammad Nabi and off-spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman sharing responsibilities. All three have Big Bash League experience.

Under the watchful eyes of former Pakistan quick Umar Gul the fast bowlers are steadily improving although none of them have had a huge impact in international cricket. Head Coach Jonathan Trott is an organized man and will have drawn up plans against all opponents.

Najibullah Zadran is Afghanistan’s key batter. He was the highest run getter for them in the last edition with 172 runs to his name.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s explosive batting is exciting to watch too and he’s one of the players to watch out for.

Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (Captain), Najibullah Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Azmatullah Omarzai, Darwish Rasooli, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Naveen ul Haq, Qais Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Salim Safi, Usman Ghani.