Aakash Chopra comments on Afghanistan’s issue before semi-final vs South Africa
By SMCS - Jun 26, 2024 11:00 am
Views 10

Veteran commentator Aakash Chopra said that batting is Afghanistan’s area of concern heading into their 2024 T20 World Cup semi-final against South Africa. The two teams will play at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, on Wednesday, June 26.

Afghanistan Bangladesh
Afghanistan team pulled off a memorable win

Ahead of the all-important game, in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said, “Afghanistan have a good team that has been playing with great passion. Their bowling is excellent and that’s where they will try to catch South Africa. They remain in low-scoring, 120 to 140-run, matches. In batting, you feel the gap has widened on a flat pitch. They come closer when it’s not a flat pitch. However, they are overly dependent on their openers. If Gurbaz and Zadran do well, this team is able to score runs with confidence. However, they collapse if their openers don’t do well. Gulbadin Naib has played one knock down the order. No one else has scored runs. They have moved players up and down the order and in and out of the team but the runs haven’t come”

“So batting is a concern, how they will negotiate the fast bowling, especially the new ball. If they become 20/2, they might be restricted to 110-115 once again. They have won all low-scoring games but they might find themselves on the wrong side of the result in this low-scoring game because this pitch might not be that much to their liking,” he again shared.

Afghanistan team
Afghanistan team

However, Aakash Chopra also added that Afghanistan could have issues against the new ball and might not win a low-scoring match against South Africa on the Tarouba pitch. Gurbaz (281) and Zadran (229) are the highest and third-highest run-getters, respectively, in the 2024 T20 World Cup as well. Azmatullah Omarzai (101) is the only other Afghanistan player to score more than 100 runs in the ongoing edition as well.

“However, what works in their favor – bowling. Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq are at the top of their game suddenly. This World Cup has been in their names. Then come Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad. Gulbadin Naib does his job and they have Mohammad Nabi. So this team has an incredible bowling lineup. They have one more thing. They don’t get scared. They are fighters. They say this is just a World Cup game, they have battled life. When such a team doesn’t have anything to lose, they have the entire world to gain. They also know the Afghanistan public doesn’t get much to be happy about and if they do well, they will become very happy. So there is a larger purpose to play,” Aakash Chopra concluded.