Focus on youth as Afghanistan revamp squads for West Indies series

ESPN Cricinfo

ESPN Cricinfo

Author 2019-10-25 16:53:19

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Afghanistan have announced a raft of changes to both their ODI side, which flattered to deceive at the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales, and the T20I team, which shared the honours after a washed-out tri-series final in Bangladesh in September.

For the upcoming matches against West Indies in Lucknow (a city in Northern India), top-order batsman Ibrahim Zadran and fast bowler Yamin Ahmadzai, among others, were brought in, even as veteran paceman Dawlat Zadran was left out.

Afghanistan lost all their nine matches at the World Cup under Gulbadin Naib, who was subsequently replaced by Rashid Khan for all three formats.

The trip to Bangladesh was a successful one for Rashid, and the team, as they beat Bangladesh in the one-off Test and then beat the home side and Zimbabwe once apiece - and lost once to each side too - on their way to the final, where rain forced an abandonment without a ball bowled.

Most of the players from that trip retained their spots in the T20I squad - trimmed from 17 to 16. However, Dawlat, who was expensive in his only outing, batsmen Fazal Niazai, Najeeb Tarakai and Shafiqullah, who also failed to impress in the limited chances they got, and uncapped 20-year-old left-arm-spinning allrounder Shahidullah were left out.

In their place were Ibrahim and Ahmadzai, as well as senior batsman Javed Ahmadi and left-arm medium pacer Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, who in July was called in to their World Cup squad as late replacement following disciplinary action against Aftab Alam.

In the ODIs, which will precede the T20Is, there was no place for Dawlat or his fast-bowling partner Hamid Hassan, and familiar faces like Hashmatullah Shahidi, Noor Ali Zadran and Samiullah Shinwari, who also missed out from the party that did duty at the World Cup.

Filling those gaps, as well as the ones following suspensions to Mohammad Shahzad and Aftab , were Ahmadi, Afsar Zazai, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Ibrahim, Ahmadzai and Naveen-ul-Haq.

The series against West Indies will start with three ODIs (November 6, 9 and 11), followed by three T20Is (November 14, 16 and 17), and a one-off Test, beginning November 27.

ODI squad: Rashid Khan (c), Asghar Afghan, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Javed Ahmadi, Afsar Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Ibrahim Zadran, Yamin Ahmadzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Ikram Alikhil, Mujeeb ur Rahman.

T20I squad: Rashid Khan (c), Asghar Afghan, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Yamin Ahmadzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Mujeeb ur Rahman

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