It could possibly be the adolescent stage of another cricketing rivalry when host Bangladesh takes field against Afghanistan in the opening game of World T20. On the very first of this month Afghanistan gave Bangladesh and its fans a harsh moment when they stunned them in the Asia cup game and thus gave birth to new rivalry.
Bangladesh will have that in the back of their mind and will be under immense pressure in front of home crowd as feisty Afghanistan throws at them a stern challenge and tigers will be up for “revenge”.
Bangladesh will have the services of opener Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hassan, both of whom missed the Asia Cup game against Afghanistan and their presence not only balances the side but makes it look a healthy opponent. T20 format suits Bangladesh well as they play the firebrand form of cricket. In their warm up matches against UAE and Ireland they looked a better side and won both the fixtures.
Afghanistan has pretty balanced bowling side, have variety in pace and spin but their batsmen loose the temperament to play long innings they perhaps are not that patient enough to stick around and this could prove blessing in disguise in shorter format of the game. That’s where they can give Bangladesh a head ache. They have drafted two T20 specialist batsmen in their squad Najeeb Tarakai and Shafiqullah.
Impact Players: Ranked Number four in T20 Allrounder rankings Shakib Al Hassan could very well be the stand out performer from Bangladesh side while Captain Mohammad Nabi can be the star player for Afghanistan if not with the ball but at least with bat.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt, wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Farhad Reza, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Sohag Gazi, Shamsur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (capt), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Mirwais Ashraf, Karim Sadiq, Shafiqullah, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Samiullah Shenwari, Shappoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Hamza Hotak, Najeeb Tarakai, Asghar Stanikzai, Nawroz Mangal, Aftab Alam.
Match starts at 9:30am GMT or 3:00 p.m. IST.