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17 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Afghanistan intent on performing well against Sri Lanka today

Tolo news
Afghanistan intent on performing 
well against Sri Lanka today
Afghanistan cricket team captain Asghar Stanikzai takes a catch ball as Samiullah Shenwari (R) looks on during a training session at the Dubai Sports City complex in Dubai on Friday. AFP Photo

Afghanistan’s national cricket team captain Asghar Stanikzai  has warned that his team is not going to the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka just “for numbers” but will be there to play hard, reports Tolo news.

“We are not here just to play but to perform. Our players have got enough experience playing big international matches. They have performed well in leading cricket leagues, so we are hoping to do well in this tournament as well,” Afghan skipper told ANI.

If one is to name the dark horse in the race for the Asia Cup 2018 title, a lot of people would put their money on Afghanistan who have a very interesting squad, both in terms of batting and bowling, he said.  

While the likes of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi in the team, Afghanistan has a bunch of other players in the team who have also made their mark on the game in recent months.

Speaking about Sri Lanka, who have five Asia Cup titles to their name and are only behind leaders India, Afghan said he backs his team to get the best results out of their opening game against Angelo Mathews' men on Monday.

There's hardly any doubt over which match at the Asia Cup is going to be the most watched, even the Afghan skipper believes the India vs Pakistan battle will be on a different level altogether.

“India-Pakistan clash will be the best match of the tournament as whenever these two nations go against each other, people from around the world show interest, Moreover, the cricketing tussle between India and Pakistan is of another level.

Both the teams have got good combination as well. While India are coming after competing in tough England conditions, Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistani side is also doing very well," opined the 30-year-old.

Afghan himself, now deep into his thirties has had his place questioned near continuously in recent months, though the side’s near-calamitous group stage at the WC Qualifier when he was sidelined with appendicitis rather underlined the importance of his experience and captaincy. More broadly though the old guard have not reliably produced runs in recent times, and much depends on young guns such as Ishanullah, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah for delivering the goods with the bat.

In the pace department a growing sick-list has exacerbated a traditional weakness, with famous faces like Shapoor Zadran and the perennially injured Hamid Hassan again absent, Dawlat Zadran also ruled out with a reported knee problem, and promising young right-armer Wafadar Momand ruled out with a back strain, the Afghan pace reserves look thin. Aftab Alam is there as the senior seamer, whilst Yamin Ahmadzai - who has been a stand-out performer with the red ball for Afghanistan - has been called up to join the squad. His white ball experience at international level is limited however, and left-arm quick Sayed Shirzad is a relative newcomer, yet to make his ODI debut.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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