AFG v ZIM

1st T20I – AFGHANISTAN VS ZIMBABWE – FANTASY PREVIEW

The equally strong Afghanistan and Zimbabwe set to play a two match T20I series which begins in Sharjah, UAE. Both teams have played their last bilateral T20I series in 2015/16 season, hosts Afghan team won that series 2-0 successfully. The entertainment begins with the first match between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe and it schedule to start at 7 PM Local | 8:30 PM IST on Monday, 5th February 2018.

 

AFGHANISTAN :

After the successful Big Bash League season, the star players Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi resumes their national duties with the series against Zimbabwe. Afghan team has played their last international series back in early December 2017. After two months of rest, they set to play 2 match T20Is followed by five match ODI series. As usual the regular captain Asghar Stanikzai will lead the team on this tour and he has a good bunch of batsmen and bowlers in the squad. The big-hitting wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad returns to the international arena after serving banned days for doping allegations. He will reclaim his opening position straight away and also will keep the wickets behind the stumps. Karim Sadiq and Usman Ghani are two other opening options for Afghanistan. Both Ghani and Sadiq has performed well in domestic first class and T20 matches in recent times. Sadiq is capable for picking wickets with his off-break and his experiences also might help him to be in the XI ahead of Ghani. If Sadiq gets a game, he will play his first T20I match, since 2016. The regular members of the team captain Ashgar Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari will take care of middle-order batting. Stanikzai is expected to bat at no. 3 followed by Shenwari and Nabi. All-rounders both Nabi and Shenwari has played so many T20 games for their country and performed so well with both bat and bowl. They will play a key role in this game.

Wicket-keeper batsman Shafiqullah Shafiq will play as the specialist batsman and the hard hitter may come to bat at no. 6. Najibullah Zadran the specialist middle-order batsman who has an ability to finish the game with quick runs, struggling to get a place in the team for several months now. He had play very decent hands for Chittagong Vikings in the BPL season and he is expected to be in the XI too. All rounder Gulbadin Naib was the star performer of Afghanistan in the last T20I series against Zimbabwe 2 years ago. He has a role to play once again in this format. The spin twins Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Zadran will take of spin department along with all rounder Mohammad Nabi. Rashid Khan rocked BBL season with 18 wickets and look to continue the good work in the international matches too. He is the trump card of Afghan side and Mujeeb Zadran is the latest addition to that trump card fame. He managed to pick only 6 wickets in 5 matches in recently concluded U19 World Cup, but he has a good chance to do well in UAE pitches. Shapoor Zadran, Hamid Hassan and Aftab Alam are a three specialist pace bowlers in the squad. Among three of them, experienced Shapoor and Hamid Hassan will get a game in this match. Hamid Hassan returns to the squad for the first time in almost two years and he has lot of points to prove with his performances.

 

ZIMBABWE :

Two changes has been made to the Zimbabwe squad from the ODI Tri-series in Bangladesh, last month. Batsman Ryan Burl and the bowler Brian Vitori has been named in the squad for this tour. Ryan Murray, Brandon Mavuta and Chris Mpofu were omitted from the squad. Graeme Cremer will lead the Zimbabwe side once again and he has lot of things to prove after team’s continues failures. Zimbabwe relying a lot on the experienced players like Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Mazakadza, Sikandar Raza and Craig Ervine. Mazakadza will continue to bat at top of the order and he will get a company of all-rounder Solomon Mire. The pair has opened the innings in the tours of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Both of them have a quality of scoring runs quickly and that would a key point for Zimbabwe. Craig Ervine, the promising batsman had a worst tour of his career in Bangladesh recently. He is in a position of overcome from that poor form and score runs against Afghanistan. Former captain Brendan Taylor played a good handy knocks in that ODI tri-series in Bangladesh recently. He will be the key performer of Zimbabwe with a bat and fantasy players must have him in their teams.

All-rounder Sikandar Raza was in firing form during both BPL and Bangladesh tri-series. He is expected to carry forward that good form to Sharjah too. Batsman Malcolm Waller plays a crucial role in the middle-order and strengthening the batting order. His performances were not so good in recent months, but this is the right opportunity for him to be back in the form. The middle-order batsman Ryan Burl has been included into the squad and he may need to wait for his opportunities. Peter Moor will take care of wicket keeper’s job if he gets a place in the XI. If he is in, he will bat at lower middle-order and in case, if he is not select in the XI then Taylor will keep wickets. There are five specialist pace bowlers in Zimbabwe squad. They are Tendai Chatara, Tendai Chisoro, Kyle Jarvis, Blessing Muzarabani and the returning back Brian Vitori. Among five of them, Chatara, Jarvis and Muzarabani had played almost every match in the recently concluded Bangladesh tri-series. That trio might continue in this series too. But the inclusion Vitori may broke that combination, because he has been selected to the squad with him impressive domestic performances in recent times. Chatara and Jarvis could be the best options for fantasy players. Chisoro has to wait to for his turn. Skipper Graeme Cremer is the sole specialist spinner in the group, but he will get a company from part-timers Raza and Waller.

 

KEY PLAYERS :

AFGHANISTAN :

  • Mohammad Shahzad
  • Asghar Stanikzai
  • Mohammad Nabi
  • Rashid Khan
  • Samiullah Shenwari
  • Najibullah Zadran
  • Mujeeb Zadran
  • Shapoor Zadran

 

ZIMBABWE :

  • Hamilton Masakadza
  • Craig Ervine
  • Solomon Mire
  • Brendan Taylor
  • Sikandar Raza
  • Graeme Cremer
  • Kyle Jarvis
  • Tendai Chatara

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS :

AFGHANISTAN :

1. Mohammad Shahzad, 2. Usman Ghani / Karim Sadiq, 3. Asghar Stanikzai, 4. Samiullah Shenwari, 5. Mohammad Nabi, 6. Najibullah Zadran / Shafiqullah, 7. Gulbadin Naib, 8. Rashid Khan, 9. Hamid Hassan, 10. Mujeeb Zadran, 11. Shapoor Zadran.

ZIMBABWE :

1. Hamilton Masakadza, 2. Solomon Mire, 3. Craig Ervine, 4. Brendan Taylor, 5. Sikandar Raza, 6. Malcolm Waller, 7. Peter Moor, 8. Graeme Cremer, 9. Kyle Jarvis, 10. Blessing Musarabani / Brian Vitori, 11. Tendai Chatara.

 

 

 

Anand Thiyagarajan

Cricket is what everyone loves. If you’re ready to play fantasy cricket but don’t know how to analyze players, consider his Articles as the foundation of your fantasy teams. Anand is a cricket blogger and fantasy cricket lover.

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