The clash between Bangladesh and Afghanistan is set to take place on Saturday, October 7, at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.
Both Bangladesh and Afghanistan, ranked just above the Netherlands in men’s ODI rankings, are underdogs in the tournament. However, they are not to be underestimated as they possess the talent to upset the top teams, especially in conditions that suit their style of play.
An early win in Dharamsala could significantly enhance their chances of reaching the semi-finals. However, the conditions may not necessarily play to their strengths. Afghanistan boasts three of the top ten bowlers in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Bowling Rankings, all spinners, while Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan is a world-class player.
Historically, Dharamsala’s short boundaries and high altitude have favoured quick bowlers, suggesting that spinners might not have the upper hand in this match.
Shakib Al Hasan (c), Litton Kumer Das, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Najmul Hossain Shanto (vc), Tawhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib.
Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen ul Haq.
Players to Watch
Bangladesh – Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan, the evergreen skipper of Bangladesh, is on the brink of his fifth World Cup. He continues to dominate the ODI all-rounder rankings, holding the No.1 spot. Shakib has consistently maintained this ranking at the start of every tournament since his second appearance in 2011.
Shakib also holds the 17th position in Bangladesh’s bowling rankings, while Mushfiqur Rahim is their top-ranked batter at 21.
Afghanistan – Rashid Khan
Afghanistan’s former captain Mohammad Nabi is the No.2 ranked all-rounder in the ODI rankings. Spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman holds the third position in the ODI bowler rankings, closely followed by Rashid Khan at fourth. Rashid Khan is considered one of the best white-ball players globally, primarily due to his performances in the shorter format, making him crucial to Afghanistan’s chances.