T20 World Cup | Team Analysis: Afghanistan vs Pakistan

T20 World Cup | Team Analysis: Afghanistan vs Pakistan

If Afghanistan get to bat first and manage to post a competitive score, then the bowlers are capable enough to defend the total

Afghanistan can spring a surprise against an in-form Pakistan side. Credit: AFP File Photos

An in-form Pakistan will be looking to make it three wins in three matches in ICC T20 World Cup 2021 when they face Afghanistan in match 24 of the tournament at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Pakistan defeated India in their first match of the ongoing T20 World Cup and then followed it up with another convincing win over New Zealand. Afghanistan too are riding high after a lopsided match against Scotland.

A win for Pakistan will almost ensure their place in the semi-finals. However, Pakistan won’t have it easy against Afghanistan, a team known to spring surprises.

Afghanistan strengths:

Afghanistan come into this match on the back of an excellent bowling performance. The team has in its rank one of the finest T20 bowlers in the world, Rashid Khan. Mujeeb Ur Rahman also showed his class as he ran riot against Scotland. Skipper Mohammad Nabi is also a fine bowler. If Afghanistan get to bat first and manage to post a competitive score, then the bowlers are capable enough to defend the total.

Afghanistan weaknesses:

The top order looks a bit devoid of experience. Although Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz are big hitters of the ball, they are young and don’t have much T20 experience. Zazai has played 66 T20 matches and Gurbaz has the experience of playing in 49 T20 games. Against the quality bowling attack of Pakistan, experience would come in handy, something the batters are short of.

Pakistan strengths:

Both bowlers and batters are in top form for Pakistan. If Shaheen Shah Afridi doesn’t the wickets he regularly does, then Haris Rauf will. Hasan Ali is never too far away from picking wickets. The role of spinners in the team is to stop the flow of runs and the likes of Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan and Mohammed Hafeez are doing what is expected from them perfectly. 

On the batting front, openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have stamped their authority as one of the most prolific opening partnerships in T20Is in recent times. The middle order comprising of Fakhar Zaman, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoiab Malik and Asif Ali is a good mix of batters who can either drop anchor or play big shots. 

Pakistan weaknesses:

The way the team is playing at the moment, it is difficult to figure out any problem areas or something that could be outrightly labelled as the team’s weaknesses. 


The two teams have faced each other only once in a T20I match. The match was played back in December 2013 at Sharjah. Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by 6 wickets in that match. 

Form Guide:

Afghanistan: W-W-W-W-T
Pakistan: W-W-NR-NR-W

Pitch and conditions

Three T20 World Cup matches have been played at this venue thus far and all three have been won by the team chasing a total. The average first innings total of the three matches is 116.33. The pitch is slightly on the slower side and scoring runs is proving to be difficult.

The evening will be cool and clear. The temperature is expected to be around 28 degrees Celsius with humidity level around 50 per cent. 

Team News

Neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan have any fitness concerns heading into the match. 

Deccan Herald’s Dream XI

Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Fakhar Zaman, Asif Ali, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf

Impact player for Afghanistan

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: The 20-year-old spinner comes into the match on the back of the best bowling performance in his T20I career. Mujeeb picked 5/20 against Scotland to help Afghanistan to a thumping win. Mujeeb is just 20 but is already an experienced T20 player having played 151 T20 games in which he has picked 170 wickets at an average of 22.50 and an economy of 6.72. If Mujeeb is able to replicate his show from three nights ago, then he can trouble a lot of Pakistani batters. 

Impact player for Pakistan

Mohammad Rizwan: Pakistan’s wicketkeeper and opening batter will play a key role in the match. Rizwan gels well with his skipper Babar Azam when the two are opening the batting. Rizwan is in form of his life. In his last 10 T20 games, Rizwan has scored 425 runs at a strike rate of 136.21 averaging 106.25.

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