This World Cup has been a coming of age for Afghanistan cricket. They have finally arrived on the biggest stage of international cricket and they are ready to challenge the hegemony of the “big boys”. In this World Cup, they defeated three former World Champions – England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The Afghan team has played with immaculate maturity and unparalleled zeal to create glorious moments for their nation. This team has emerged to be a beacon of hope for the grief-stricken country. There are many positives from this campaign for Afghanistan but let’s take a look at 3 biggest positives for them.
Afghanistan – not a minnow anymore
With this World Cup campaign, they have shown to the cricketing world that they are not minnows anymore. The way they have challenged former world champions reflects how far Afghanistan cricket has traveled over the years. They have not just defeated world champions but they have beaten them comprehensively.
The Afghans almost pulled off a match against 5-time World Cup winners Australia. In their last group stage match, they made it tough for the in-form South Africa to chase down the target. In the years to come, they will be a force to be reckoned with in international cricket and this is just the start of the long journey that this passionate nation has embarked on.
A Complete Team
So far Afghanistan is known for its bowling prowess. It was their bowling attack that would keep them in the contest against stronger sides. But this World Cup has completely changed the perception of Afghanistan cricket. They have not just won matches because of their bowlers but their batters have put in equal efforts in making them a challenging side to play against.
Against Pakistan, they chased down a total of more than 280 runs with utmost composure which is not an easy job for any team considering the pressure that a team must endure in tournaments like World Cup. Now they look like a well-rounded unit that can challenge any opposition not just with their bowling but with the bat as well.
Stability is the key
One of the biggest positives for them from this World Cup is the way their management and leadership have navigated them through this tournament. Coach Jonathan Trott and his staff along with captain Hashmatullah Shahidi must be given the credit who have led them so well in this tournament. It looked like they were a well-drilled unit that knew how to tackle adverse situations with proper planning and methods. Going ahead this would be the biggest factor in their evolution as a strong cricketing nation.