Aakash Chopra lauds Afghanistan for their performances in ODI World Cup 2023
Aakash Chopra, the renowned cricket commentator and former Indian opener, has weighed in on Afghanistan’s performance in the 2023 World Cup, suggesting that their defeat to Bangladesh in the tournament opener might be the decisive factor in their quest for a semi-final spot.
Afghanistan’s journey in the World Cup has been marked by impressive victories, the latest being a dominant seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka in Pune on Monday, October 30. This triumph catapulted them to the fifth position in the points table, keeping their semi-final aspirations alive. Follow your favourite cricket team with attractive betting odds from Nextbet.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra commented (0:01), “Afghanistan have won their third game. They first defeated England, then made Pakistan lick dust and now they have said tata bye-bye to Sri Lanka.”
Chopra further stated, “They are not winning matches, they are dominating and winning convincingly. If they had not lost their first match to Bangladesh, they would have been serious contenders for the semi-final race.”
One notable aspect highlighted by Chopra is Afghanistan’s balanced approach. He emphasized (1:40), “Afghanistan – a team on the rise. We had discussed pre-tournament as well that you shouldn’t take Afghanistan lightly, that they are a good team who have good spinners and if they start scoring runs in batting, it would be difficult to beat this team. Interestingly enough, they are not winning based on spin.”
Chopra underscored the significance of Afghanistan’s batting prowess, which was evident in their successful chase of a 283-run target against Pakistan. The same trend continued in their 242-run chase against Sri Lanka.
Fazalhaq Farooqi’s remarkable performance in the bowling department did not escape Chopra’s attention. He commended Farooqi (2:20), saying, “We had discussed yesterday that the Pune pitch has help for pacers. Keeping that in mind, the team played Fazalhaq Farooqi in place of Noor Ahmad. Farooqi picked up four wickets, and all four players he dismissed had gotten off to starts. Whoever made runs was made to lick dust by him.”
Chopra also acknowledged the contributions of Azmatullah Omarzai, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, and Ibrahim Zadran in Afghanistan’s run chase against Sri Lanka. He remarked, “Sri Lanka should have scored at least 285. They feel short by about 45 runs. They dismissed Rahmanullah Gurbaz, but Ibrahim Zadran – I felt he would score 60-70, he didn’t score that many. Then Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, and Azmatullah Omarzai came when it felt like there could be a twist in the tale.”
As Afghanistan looks ahead to their World Cup journey, Chopra recognized the challenges they face. While he believes they should secure a victory against the Netherlands in Lucknow, he anticipates a tougher test against Australia and South Africa in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, respectively. Afghanistan’s fate in the semi-final race hangs in the balance, awaiting the outcome of these pivotal encounters. Get free cricket betting tips only on Nextbet Sports.