The T20 series of 2022

Afghanistan - T20 World Cup Ultimate Tournament Guide

Oct. 6, 2022

WCT20 Squad Depth Chart

alt sl squad home Spots under threat: Usman Ghani, Darwish Rasooli, Fareed Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq Afghanistan's main problem will be managing their pace bowling unit with only two specialist quicks and Azmatullah Omarzai. Fareed Ahmad replaced Naveen-ul-Haq after three games in the Asia Cup, and considering Ahmad's compatibility with Australian conditions, he is likely to start ahead of Naveen in the World Cup as well. Dropping Azmatullah Omarzai in favour of Naveen-ul-Haq will strengthen their pace attack, with Fazalhaq Farooqi and Fareed Ahmad forming a potent new-ball partnership and Naveen using the old ball. However, such a move would weaken their already mediocre batting lineup. And mainstream teams hate going batting light. It is also one of the reasons why, despite poor numbers, Omarzai continues in the starting XI this year. Karim Janat, the other fast bowling all-rounder Afghanistan tried to make work, not even making the squad boosts Omarzai's case even more. So, even though Ahmad is set to start, with a huge name like Naveen on the bench and Afghanistan certain to lose a lot of games, the left-arm seamer will struggle to keep his spot. Afghanistan's only other difficult vote will be deciding who bats at No. 4, which will be a shootout between Usman Ghani and Darwish Rasooli. Ghani has more experience but is an anchor, while Rasooli is one of Afghanistan's biggest emerging batting talents and is more attacking with the bat.

WCT20 Team Rating - 4.3/10

alt sl squad home Afghanistan's strongest suit—the bowling unit—has a serious flaw in it: Azmatullah Omarzai as its third pacer. And their batting lineup will be annihilated by express quicks and hit-the-deck bowlers. Winning against any of the teams ranked higher than them would be an accomplishment in and of itself for Mohammad Nabi's team.

Rating Scale Explainer

BATTING Batting Quality - A match-winner each in the top (No.1-2), middle (No.3-4) and lower-middle order (No.5-7) Batting Depth - A minimum of 8 batting options Complementary openers - Opening pair to be complemented by both hand and type Spin Hitting - Exceptional hitting ability vs spin in the middle order (No.3-5) Pace Hitting - Exceptional hitting ability vs pace in the lower middle order (No.5-7) BOWLING New ball Pace - At least 20 balls of quality seam and swing bowling ability up front Express Pace and HTD - At least 20 hit-the-deck balls at 140+kph between Overs 7 and 16 Death Bowling - A well-balanced blend of yorkers, slow balls, and hard length at pace between Overs 17 and 20 Bowling Depth - At least six 4-over options Spin (Quality & Complementary) - Both away-spin (SLA/wrist-spin) and in-spin (off-spin); 'Quality' - Self explanatory

Squad Home

alt sl squad home Records from the last three years are not as useful as most people believe, so I like breaking them down into three individual years to assess how a player has performed/progressed - whether his average of 40, for example, is the result of one spectacular year or two good years, and so on. This is why we went into such great detail here. The "in Australia" category is self-explanatory. The World Cup is being held in Australia, which has very different conditions than the rest of the world. As a result, a player's record in the country offers substantial value in helping you understand more about the individual. Form - Based on player performance in the 10 games leading up to the World Cup. FC-LA-T20 - Even though this World Cup is in the T20 format, I find it much easier to understand a new player when I am familiar with his records in all three formats. It works especially well when the sample size is small. 5 - Exceptional, 4 - Good, 3 - Average, 2- Mediocre, 1 - Poor

Fantasy Board

alt sl squad home From a season fantasy standpoint, there is nothing like Rashid Khan's reliability - he may have four steady games (read: steady - 4-0-28-1) and if he goes full wild in the fifth with a 4-0-24-3 and a 35 (20), he will be in the top 50% of your team. With regards to Nabi, it is very similar to what we highlighted about Chamika Karunaratne in the SL Guide. Despite his drawbacks, he remains one of the safest season fantasy options in the side. Remember that in conditions where Afghanistan's hitters are likely to struggle, both Nabi and Rashid Khan, batting at Nos. 6 and 8, will have more playing time with the bat in the middle than they would in Asian conditions. This will marginally increase their fantasy potential. We expect Fazalhaq Farooqi to have a better tournament than Rahmanullah Gurbaz, but being a keeper is something you can't easily overlook in fantasy. Even though Gurbaz has never played in these conditions before, he still opens the batting, and opening is a key fantasy points influencer. You'll notice Fazalhaq Farooqi's growing stature in the Afghanistan team in the soon-to-be-released Afghanistan booster pack - he's becoming the team's go-to bowler both with the new and old ball, which guarantees wickets. Mujeeb Ur Rahman is in excellent form, but when compared to Farooqi, he will be bowling in conditions that are less conducive to his style and will not have the death bowling cushion, hence he is ranked lower. Zazai and Najibullah are ranked lower than they would be in many other fantasy ranking rankings due to their form (see section ‘Squad Home’) and the unfamiliar batting conditions. In Najibullah's case, he will have to deal with the pace and bounce on the Australian pitches, something he is not comfortable against even in subcontinental conditions. Top Pick(s): Rashid Khan Top Budget Pick(s): Fazalhaq Farooqi Top Differential(s): Ibrahim Zadran Steal(s): Fazalhaq Farooqi, Ibrahim Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai

Fantasy Cheat Sheet

alt sl squad home It is simple: if you are not in the world of House of the Dragon, then the colour green is your friend. So whether it's season or daily fantasy, go with the player who has the most greens. All stats since 2021 Take a look at who is at the top of the Runs Scored Per Match column: Ibrahim Zadran. Keep an eye out for the right-hander, as he could be your best budget replacement for high-profile players like Gurbaz, Zazai, and Zadran in daily fantasy. However, from a season fantasy standpoint, it will make much of a difference, as the entire batting unit will struggle to counter the pace and bounce on offer on the Australian decks. Other underlying figures to keep an eye on - RSPM - Rashid Khan (4.7), far too often his all-around value is exaggerated. OBPM - Mohammad Nabi (2.52), one of Afghanistan's least used regular bowlers. If Omarzai starts well with the ball, he is the one who is likely to be affected. WTPM - Rashid Khan (1.26), the fourth lowest among the five regular bowlers in the lineup. Catches - Najibullah Zadran (11), as many as Gurbaz, the designated keeper. Catches do not win matches, but they do win fantasy games. Sheet Key M - Matches Played BF - Balls Faced BFPM - Balls Faced Per Match Runs - Runs Scored RSPM - Runs Scored Per Match Bat SR - Batting Strike Rate Overs - Overs Bowled OBPM - Overs Bowled Per Match Wickets - Wickets Taken WTPM - Wickets Taken Per Match Bowl SR - Bowling Strike Rate ER - Economy Rate C - Catches

Matchups that Matter

alt sl squad home This is my favourite part of the whole thing, and you can learn a lot from it. It's a particularly effective tool to have before game day. Here are some observations, for example:
  • Afghanistan's batting lineup, like Sri Lanka's, will struggle to handle express pace, especially when the length is shortened. So pick bowlers who can hit the deck at 140+ kph.
  • They are also not a reliable batting unit against spin.
  • In general, there are more one-level highlighted bars than two or three in the batting unit, indicating an abundance of mediocrity. So, as mentioned earlier in the article, don't invest too heavily in their batters, even the big names; instead, focus on cutting costs in that area and opt for cheaper options like Ibrahim Zadran.
  • Their numbers, as expected, show how good a spin bowling unit they are, with 5 three-level highlighted bars out of a possible 6.
  • Hyphen - Small Sample Size or Irrelevant
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