File image of Rashid Khan(Action Images via Reuters)
File image of Rashid Khan(Action Images via Reuters)

ICC World Cup 2019: Afghan spin the key for new captain at World Cup

Under Asghar, Afghanistan had made serious progress, beating Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at last year’s Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates and even tying a game with India at the tournament.
By AFP | Kabul
UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2019 09:42 AM IST

Afghanistan’s World Cup preparations were thrown off kilter when they controversially decided to replace successful captain Asghar Afghan with the little-known Gulbadin Naib two months before the tournament.

Under Asghar, Afghanistan had made serious progress, beating Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at last year’s Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates and even tying a game with India at the tournament.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2019

Asghar was confident his spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi could dismantle any team once they had a fighting total on the board.

Seven months later the skipper was unceremoniously dethroned, upsetting matchwinners Rashid and Nabi weeks before only Afghanistan’s second appearance in the global 50-over showpiece.

“With just months to go for such a mega event like the World Cup, changing the captain will cause uncertainty and also team morale will be affected,” said Rashid, who was made Twenty20 captain.

“Asghar should remain as our team captain. His captaincy is highly instrumental for team success.”

Former captain Nabi supported Rashid’s views publicly on social media.

“I don’t think it’s the right time to change the captain before the WC. The team has gelled really well under Ashgar & personally feel he is the right man to lead us,” tweeted Nabi.

Afghanistan’s former coach Kabir Khan said the change could have a negative impact on the team.

“The change is political,” Kabir told AFP. “Had they wanted a change, it should have been done after the World Cup.

“I feel the change will definitely affect Afghanistan as both Naib and Asghar will be under pressure.”

Kabir, who oversaw Afghanistan’s swift rise as a force in international cricket, is confident that despite the upheaval, the Afghans will not lose their battling qualities.

“I don’t think their fighting spirit will be any less but a new captain will find it tough,” he said.

- Spin Ace -

With the return of fast bowler Hamid Hasan, Afghanistan’s attack has more venom.

But their hopes lie with Rashid, Mujeeb and Nabi, who have been the key men in recent years, helping Afghanistan make it through the qualifying competition in Zimbabwe last year.

Rashid, ranked third in the ODI bowlers’rankings and number one in Twenty20 internationals, grabbed 14 wickets and Mujeeb claimed 16 scalps as Afghanistan edged through despite a scare.

But to allow their spinners to wreak havoc, Afghanistan, who face Australia in Bristol on June 1 in their tournament opener, need to put challenging totals on the board.

The emergence of dashing opener Hazratullah Zazai will add firepower at the top of the order alongside stocky Mohammad Shahzad, dropped from the 2015 World Cup for being overweight.

Zazai smashed six sixes in an over in the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) in 2018 and hit the second-highest score in T20 internationals of 162 not out -- including 16 sixes -- against Ireland in February 2019.

Asghar, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari and Nabi form a strong batting line up but must adjust to unfamiliar English conditions.

The first task though for the new captain will be to rally the troops after the change in command.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
India's Shardul Thakur, left, and teammate Washington Sundar talk during play on day three of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia.(AP)
India's Shardul Thakur, left, and teammate Washington Sundar talk during play on day three of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia.(AP)

Sundar, Thakur lead India fightback but Australia still lead by 54 runs

PTI
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 04:42 PM IST
Washington (62) and Thakur (67) added 123 runs for the seventh wicket after India lost four wickets.
Close
Washington Sundar hits a no-look six off Nathan Lyon(Screengrab/cricket.com.au Twitter)
Washington Sundar hits a no-look six off Nathan Lyon(Screengrab/cricket.com.au Twitter)

WATCH: Sundar hits a no-look six off Lyon to send commentators into a frenzy

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 12:55 PM IST
India vs Australia: The commentators enjoyed Washington Sundar's no-look six a lot. Former England medium-pacer Isa Guha was the first one to spot the no-look shot on-air.
Close
Live
Australia's David Warner, right, and opening partner Marcus Harris walk from the field at the end of play on day three of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia.(AP)
Australia's David Warner, right, and opening partner Marcus Harris walk from the field at the end of play on day three of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia.(AP)

4th Test, Day 3 Highlights: Sundar, Thakur lead fightback as Aus lead by 54

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 01:33 PM IST
IND vs AUS 4th Test Day 3 Highlights: Australia scored 21/0 at stumps. Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur added 123 runs to help India reach close to Australia's first innings total, but in the end, the visitors fell short by 33 runs, as India were bowled out for 336.
Photo of former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar(Twitter)
Photo of former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar(Twitter)

'This half Indian team is better than fully-fit Australia’: Shoaib Akhtar

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 09:48 AM IST
  • India are already without two of their premier bowlers in Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah in the Gabba Test, who have missed it due to back spasm and abdominal strain respectively.
Close
Washington Sundar during the fourth Test.(AP)
Washington Sundar during the fourth Test.(AP)

IND vs AUS: Washington Sundar becomes third Indian to achieve unique feat

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:45 AM IST
  • India vs Australia, 4th Test: Sundar made his debut in Brisbane and made an instant impact. Sundar picked up three wickets in the first innings with Steve Smith being his first wicket.
Close
Shardul Thakur raises his bat after completing a maiden Test fifty. (Getty Images)
Shardul Thakur raises his bat after completing a maiden Test fifty. (Getty Images)

'A natural ball striker and clean hitter': Moody on Sundar-Thakur counter-attack

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 06:13 PM IST
  • Sundar and Thakur’s knocks were lauded by the entire cricketing fraternity with former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody highly impressed with their rearguard.
Close
Marnus Labuschagne appealing(Screenshot from Fox cricket video)
Marnus Labuschagne appealing(Screenshot from Fox cricket video)

'What planet he was on?': Waugh, Gilchrist roast Marnus for 'worst appeal'

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 06:08 PM IST
India vs Australia: Marnus Labuschagne left former Australia cricketer Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh bemused with an outrageous appeal against India's Washington Sundar on Day 3 of the Brisbane Test.
Close
Josh Hazlewood bowls on Day 3. (Getty Images)
Josh Hazlewood bowls on Day 3. (Getty Images)

'He plays a massive role for them': Hazlewood glad to remove 'key' India batsman

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 04:58 PM IST
  • India vs Australia: Each wicket is special for Hazlewood but the fast bowler is highly content with one dismissal in particular.
Close
Hardik Pandya with father Himanshu Pandya.(Twitter/Hardik Pandya)
Hardik Pandya with father Himanshu Pandya.(Twitter/Hardik Pandya)

'Rest in peace my king': Hardik Pandya's tribute for late father Himanshu Pandya

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 04:30 PM IST
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Sunday said he will miss his father's presence each day in his life.
Close
Shardul Thakur spanks a four. (Getty Images)
Shardul Thakur spanks a four. (Getty Images)

'Australian players were trying to have a conversation with me,' reveals Thakur

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 03:59 PM IST
  • India vs Australia: Shardul Thakur's innings, on expected lines, seemingly got under the skin of Australia, with the fast bowler explaining that the opposition reacted by chirping away a few words at him.
Close
New Zealand's paceman James Neesham bowls during the third T20 cricket match between New Zealand and Pakistan at McLean Park in Napier on December 22, 2020.
New Zealand's paceman James Neesham bowls during the third T20 cricket match between New Zealand and Pakistan at McLean Park in Napier on December 22, 2020.

NZ all-rounder Jimmy Neesham undergoes surgery

PTI
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 02:44 PM IST
Neesham, who struggled for form in the IPL last year, is expected to return to action for the back end of the ongoing Super Smash tournament, where Wellington are currently leading the table.
Close
India's Shardul Thakur, left, and teammate Washington Sundar talk during play on day three of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)(AP)
India's Shardul Thakur, left, and teammate Washington Sundar talk during play on day three of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)(AP)

Sundar breaks 110-yr-old record, Thakur top scores as Twitter goes crazy

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 02:22 PM IST
Both Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur registered many records to their names. Sundar broke a 110-year old record in Test matches in Australia. Here is how Twitter reacted to Sundar and Thakur’s records and their 123-run seventh-wicket stand.
Close
Virat Kohli and Shardul Thakur
Virat Kohli and Shardul Thakur

'Tula parat manla': Kohli tweets for Shardul, Manjrekar explains story behind it

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 02:36 PM IST
Virat Kohli used three words in Marathi towards the end of his Tweet to applaud Shardul Thakur. Explaining the meaning of 'tula parat manla', former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar narrated an interesting story behind Kohli's choice of words.
Close
India's Thangarasu Natarajan, left, and India's Shardul Thakur talk during play on the first day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane.(AP)
India's Thangarasu Natarajan, left, and India's Shardul Thakur talk during play on the first day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane.(AP)

'A very good performance': Gavaskar has high praise for young Indian bowlers

By YASH BHATI
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 10:43 AM IST
  • Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar have all missed part of the Test series or the whole contest itself.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP