ODI World Cup 2023: SWOT analysis of Afghanistan Cricket Team – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

Oct 3, 2023

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Afghanistan-Team. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Afghanistan will look to be impactful in the 2023 World Cup under Hashmatullah Shahidi. The Afghan team has won only one game in the World Cup, but their players have the capability and grit to stun any big team.

The Afghan side grew as a cricketing nation while playing the sport in India. There was a time when Dehradun’s Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium used to be the Afghanistan team’s second home ground. The 2023 World Cup will be played in India, and the Afghan team will look to make this tournament special for themselves.

Afghanistan went down in flames in the Asia Cup 2023, but in the World Cup, they will look to begin their campaign positively against Bangladesh on October 7. Before the start of the tournament, it’s essential to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the Afghan side to be led by Hashmatullah Shahidi.

Here is the SWOT analysis of the Afghanistan team  

Strengths

Formidable spin department

Afghanistan Team. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Afghanistan have some amazing spinners in their line-up. Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Noor Ahmad will bolster their spin department. Rashid has been participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) every year since 2017, and his experience has helped him understand Indian conditions well.

In the cash-rich league, he is one of the most popular bowlers due to his disciplined bowling. The wrist spinner has picked up 139 wickets in 109 IPL matches. His one-day international (ODI) record in India is sensational as well. Appearing in 13 ODIs in the sub-continent, he has grabbed 23 scalps at an economy of 4.31. The Afghan team management will want their star bowler to dominate batters with his exceptional bowling skills in the World Cup coming ahead.

Veteran Nabi will also have to utilise his vast international experience and make an important contribution to the team with the ball. The 22-year-old Mujeeb will also look to rock the tournament for his side with his extraordinary bowling excellence. The young off-spinner has taken 93 wickets in 66 ODIs at an economy of 4.15. Noor Ahmad provides a variation to the spin attack with his left-arm wrist-spin bowling, and his endeavours are going to be the same in the marquee tournament.

Accustomed to Indian conditions

Afghan players are familiar with Indian conditions, and their endeavours will be to make the best use of this opportunity. Their key players Rashid, Noor, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Nabi, and Naveen Ul Haq have played in the IPL, and they understand the nature of Indian wickets. 

Weaknesses

Failure to hold nerves

Fareed Ahmed and Asif Ali. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Afghanistan have a strong team that consists of fine players such as Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid, and Mujeeb. However, the biggest drawback of this team is that it fails to show the nerves of steel during pressure situations. In the Asia Cup 2023, it was seen how the Afghan batters lost their hope against Sri Lanka despite starting with a bang and going close to the target of 292 under 38 overs. 

Similarly, in the three-match ODI series against Pakistan in August, Afghan bowlers got nervous in the second ODI while defending 300 runs and became unsuccessful in dismissing Pakistan’s last wicket. The Afghan team will have to overcome their tendency to get nervous to taste success against quality teams in the upcoming World Cup.

Opportunities

Fox to win? 

Afghanistan-Team. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Noting Indian conditions, it can be said that Afghanistan have a decent side that has the ability to perform turnarounds against quality teams. Teams such as Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand find it difficult to play in these conditions, and Afghanistan will look to make the jobs of these sides tough.

Threats

Inexperience in international cricket

Bangladesh and Afghanistan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Afghanistan have only 14 years of experience in international cricket, and during this period, they have evolved a lot as a team in white-ball cricket. However, in international events such as ODI World Cups and T20 World Cups, they have failed to do wonders. It can be witnessed that their inexperience is affecting their performance in major events. In the upcoming ODI tournament, they will be expected to make themselves mentally strong to compete against other sides.

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