Home > Features >

Afghanistan need more tours to play bigger teams ahead of ICC 2015 World Cup

Afghanistan © AFP
Afghanistan need more tours to other countries before the World Cup in order to prepare for it © AFP

Afghanistan are currently on a tour to Zimbabwe as they have commenced preparations for the ICC 2015 World Cup. Having come through tough times, this team is now ready to take on the stronger nations and improve as they move along. Nishad Pai Vaidya writes that Afghanistan needs more tours like these, to play stronger sides, to prepare for the ICC 2015 World Cup.

Afghanistan cricket has set its sights high. Having overcome numerous hurdles beyond the cricket field and then fashioning a meteoric rise through the numerous World Cricket Leagues (WCL). That doesn’t come without an unshakable spirit, but there are bigger things they have in mind. As Kabir Khan, the coach told CricketCountry, earlier in 2014, “The aim is to raise the bar and be consistent. At our level we have been consistent, but at the top level we haven’t shown that much.” The tour to Zimbabwe is an opportunity to do just that.

Through 2014, Afghanistan have had a few encounters at the international level. These games have shown their talent, but also exposed the areas they fall short. Take the Asia Cup 2014 for example. They beat Bangladesh in a good game, gave Pakistan a scare, but India and Sri Lanka beat them comfortably. In the World T20 that followed, Bangladesh bowled them out for a paltry score and then they also lost to Nepal. Those weren’t results Afghanistan expected and certainly left them disappointed.

Afghanistan’s road to the 2015 World Cup begins now as they get their first full series in Zimbabwe. Instead of a few sporadic games, they can now test themselves over a period of several games. When you get a full series, you can plan better and execute them in the course of a few games. You get a sample space to test all your players and can learn from mistakes over a period of time.

The thing that has troubled Afghanistan in the big games is the inconsistency in batting. Many times, they have lost momentum as batsmen have played too many shots. Thus, instead of reaching a score closer to 250, they end up making something much lesser. This is one aspect they have to focus on as they build for the next World Cup. The bowling isn’t a big worry as they have some good pacers and some spin to go with it. But, for that department to function, they have to put the runs on the board.

There seem to be a few changes in the side with some of the under-19 players coming in. Earlier this year, Afghanistan’s under-19 side progressed to the quarter-final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup. The captain of the side, Nasir Jamal is now in the senior side. Mohammad Mujtaba, Afghanistan’s best batsman in the tournament, is now a part of their senior side for the longer formats. There are other under-19 players such as Hashmatullah Shaidi, Sharafuddin Ashraf and Usman Ghani in the main side. This is an important move as these youngsters have to be groomed for the World Cup. With a few months to go, it is the ideal time for them to blend them into the setup.

Afghanistan need more tours to other countries before the World Cup in order to prepare for it. It won’t help if they only play fellow associates and they need to take on the stronger sides more often. That is the way they will improve. Though the journey has been long and wonderful so far, there are still miles to go. They know it more than anyone.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

Live Cricket Score Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Round 3, Day 1 — All matches

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Marks out of 10 for the hosts

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail tales

Anil Kumble Australia India Moments in history Ricky Ponting South Africa

Shahid Afridi retirement: Twitter reaction

Shahid Afridi to retire from ODIs after 2015 World Cup: Report

Kevin Pietersen determined to make comeback despite selectors’ reluctance

Alastair Cook sacked in ‘hugely disrespectful’ manner: Andrew Strauss

India vs Australia 2014-15, 3rd Test at Melbourne: Joe Burns says dream come true to play for Australia

Pakistan vs New Zealand ODI series 2014: A look back at the series

Murali Vijay’s 144 among most runs scored by an Indian on Day 1 of overseas Test

Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and others scoring century on their Captaincy Debut in Test cricket

Batsman given hit wicket after mobile phone falls on stumps

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Highlights

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

683 Posts | 6 Fans

Mitchell Johnson's 37 wickets against England in Ashes 2013-14

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here