“Too dependent on…” – Aakash Chopra exposes Afghanistan’s biggest weakness ahead of semi-final against South Africa

Afghanistan will play the first semi-final against South Africa on June 27 in Trinidad. This is the first time that Afghanistan will play in a World Cup semi-final.

Earlier, they also qualified for the Super 8s of the T20 World Cup for the first time. They have been the big killers in this World Cup so far, eliminating teams like New Zealand and Australia.

There is a clear pattern in the way Afghanistan played the matches at this World Cup. They were a better team first and scored more points and won games when their openers had scored points. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (281) and Ibrahim Zadran (229) are among the top three run-getters in this World Cup so far.

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Aakash Chopra in his preview of this match talked about a major problem in Afghanistan’s batting line-up heading into the semi-finals.

“Afghanistan has a good team that has played with great passion. Their bowling is excellent and that is where they will look to overtake South Africa. They remain in low scoring matches of 120 to 140 runs. When batting you can feel the De gap has widened on a flat field. They get closer when it’s not a flat field,” he said.

“However, they are too dependent on their openers. If Gurbaz and Zadran do well, this team can score runs with confidence. However, they collapse if their openers do not do well. Gulbadin Naib has played down the order once.” No one else scored any points. They have moved players in and out of the team but the points have not come,” Chopra further added.

Hitting is a concern for Afghanistan: Aakash Chopra

He further said that the South African new-ball bowlers could pose problems for the Afghanistan openers and they could end up putting up a sub-par total that is not enough to challenge the Proteas.

“So the batting is a concern, how they will deal with the fast bowling, especially the new ball. If they become 20/2, they might be restricted to 110-115 again. They have won all the matches with low scores, but maybe they think They were on the wrong side of the result in this low-scoring match, because perhaps this pitch was not to their liking,” he explained.

The former Indian opener backed the Afghan new ball bowlers to deliver. Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-Ul-Haq have taken 16 and 13 wickets respectively in the tournament.

However, what works in their favor: bowling. Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq are suddenly at the top of their game. This World Cup is in their name. Then come Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad. Gulbadin Naib does his job and they have Mohammad Nabi. So this team has an incredible bowling line-up,” he noted.

Chopra concluded by saying that Rashid Khan and Afghanistan’s fighting spirit could make the game interesting, adding that the support from the Afghan fans will be a big boost for the players.

“They have one more thing. They are not afraid. They are fighters. They say this is just a World Cup match, they have fought against life. If such a team has nothing to lose, they have the whole world to win. They also know that the Afghan public has nothing to win and if they do well, they get very happy. So there is a bigger purpose to play for,” Chopra concluded.

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