Updated May 30th, 2024 at 22:56 IST

T20 World Cup 2024, Afghanistan SWOT Analysis: Strengths & Weaknesses of the Rashid Khan-led side

With the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 about to reach the surface, republicworld.com is paying heed to every side and preparing a SWOT analysis on all.

Afghanistan Team | Image:AP
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With the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 about to reach the surface, republicworld.com is paying heed to every side and preparing a SWOT analysis on all. This time, we have picked the team which has made the most profound growth in the last few years. Afghanistan made an unparalleled impact in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 and it is now time for them to continue making strides in International cricket. Thus, let's contemplate what they can bring to the table in the upcoming T20 World Cup by ruminating about their Strengths (S), Weaknesses (W), Opportunities (O), and Threats (T).

Afghanistan T20 World Cup 2024 Squad

Afghanistan Squad: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Ishaq, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Karim Janat, Nangyal Kharoti, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid Khan (C), Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad Malik.

Reserves: Sediq Atal, Saleem Safi, Hazratullah Zazai.

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Strengths

Spin Attack Led by Rashid Khan: Afghanistan's most notable strength lies in their formidable spin attack, spearheaded by Rashid Khan. Known for his exceptional skill and control, Rashid is one of the premier T20 bowlers globally. Alongside him, spinners like Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, and Mohammad Nabi provide depth and variety, making Afghanistan's spin department a significant threat to any opposition. Their ability to exploit even the slightest turn on the pitch can stifle the scoring rates of their opponents, often leading to crucial breakthroughs.

Aggressive Approach: Afghanistan's aggressive approach in both batting and bowling sets them apart. Batters like Rahmanullah Gurbaz at the top of the order provide explosive starts, putting immediate pressure on the opposition. This aggression extends to their bowling attack, where bowlers like Naveen-ul-Haq and Fazalhaq Farooq bowl with pace and intent. This fearless style can disrupt the rhythm of more established teams and lead to unexpected victories.

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Weaknesses

Inconsistency with the Bat: Despite having explosive batters, Afghanistan struggles with consistency, particularly in the middle order. While players like Gurbaz can provide quick starts, the lack of stability and experience in the middle order often leads to collapses, preventing them from capitalizing on strong starts. This inconsistency can be a significant drawback in high-pressure situations, where the ability to build and consolidate innings is crucial.

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Fielding Concerns: Fielding remains an area of concern for Afghanistan. Dropped catches and misfields have cost them dearly in past matches, and improvements are necessary to compete with the top-tier teams. Fielding lapses not only give away runs but also break the momentum, affecting the overall team performance.

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Opportunities

Cementing Stature in World Cricket: The T20 World Cup 2024 presents a golden opportunity for Afghanistan to solidify their status in world cricket. Their impressive performance in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, where they astounded many with their competitiveness, has set a high benchmark. Replicating and building on that momentum in the T20 format can further enhance their reputation and attract more support and recognition globally.

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Threats

Fierce Competition: With 20 teams participating in the tournament, Afghanistan will face fierce competition not only from established cricketing nations but also from improving associate nations. This expanded field increases the unpredictability and pressure, as any team can cause an upset. Afghanistan must be vigilant against these threats and consistently perform at their best to advance.

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More to Gain, More to Lose: Afghanistan finds themselves in a position where they have more to gain than to lose. While this can be a motivating factor, it also means that the expectations are higher. Any slip-up could be detrimental, given the rising standards and competitiveness of international T20 cricket. Balancing this pressure with their natural aggressive play will be crucial for their success.

In conclusion, Afghanistan's journey in the T20 World Cup 2024 will hinge on leveraging their strengths, addressing their weaknesses, capitalizing on opportunities, and mitigating threats. If they manage to do so effectively, they could emerge as one of the most exciting teams to watch in the tournament.

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Published May 30th, 2024 at 22:56 IST