The top 5 best Afghanistan bowlers of all-time

Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi are two of the best Afghanistan bowlers of all-time and currently in all formats.

Who are the greatest bowlers from Afghanistan?

Afghanistan has been an affiliate member of the ICC since 2001, an associate member since 2013 and they recently acquired test status in 2017. In this time, they have had some great moments on the big stage, such as beating the eventual world champions, West Indies, at the 2016 World T20. Batting has never been their strength and so in this article we will explore the best Afghanistan bowlers instead.

The top 5 consists of three spinners and two fast bowlers that have taken plenty of wickets for Afghanistan Cricket.

These wickets have predominantly been in ODI cricket and T20I cricket, since the nation has had little exposure to Test matches.

So, who makes the list?

5. Hamid Hassan

Afghanistan’s Hamid Hasan (L) receives the ball from Afghanistan’s captain Gulbadin Naibduring the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between South Africa and Afghanistan at Sophia Gardens stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on June 15, 2019. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Hamid Hassan features at number five on this list. He is the least experienced of all the bowlers on this list, despite being the oldest. Hassan has played 38 ODIs and 22 T20Is for Afghanistan.

He has picked up 59 wickets at a bowling average of 23 and 32 wickets at a bowling average of 16 in ODI’s and T20I’s respectively. His fast arm action can often surprise batsmen and he has the ability to swing the ball both ways at pace.

Hamid Hassan is a quality fast bowler, who also has the ability to bowl at the death in T20Is. However, his fragile body sometimes lets him down. Afghanistan will be hoping that this will not be the case when they play the 2021 World T20.

4. Mujeeb-ur-Rahman

Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman (R) delivers a ball watched by India’s captain Virat Kohli (2L) during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between India and Afghanistan at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, southern England, on June 22, 2019. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Still only 19 years of age, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman is number four on this list, thanks to his ability to spin the ball both ways and his mystery. He has taken 70 wickets in just 43 ODIs for Afghanistan.

In T20s all over the world, Mujeeb has played a crucial part for franchises. He was the second-highest wicket-taker at the 2020 CPL, with 16 scalps. He still has so much to learn in the game and is only going to get better.

In the 2021 IPL Auction, he was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

 

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3. Dawlat Zadran

Dawlat Zadran is the best fast bowler that Afghanistan has ever had.
CARDIFF, WALES – JUNE 04: Dawlat Zadran of Afghanistan celebrates after bowling Isuru Udana during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka at Cardiff Wales Stadium on June 04, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A right-arm fast bowler, who generates excellent pace in a similar fashion to the great Waqar Younis, Dawlat Zadran features at number three on this list. He has played a number of games now and is a very experienced bowler.

In 82 ODIs, he has picked up 115 wickets at a bowling average of 30, which is pretty good, considering that he plays a lot of games on spinning pitches. He performed relatively well at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, picking up 8 wickets in just 5 games.

2. Mohammad Nabi

CARDIFF, WALES – JUNE 04: Mohammad Nabi of Afghanistan celebrates after bowling out Lahiru Thirimanna during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka at Cardiff Wales Stadium on June 04, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Mohammad Nabi is second on the list of best Afghanistan bowlers of all-time. He bowls right-arm off spin and is very accurate with his bowling. A more traditional off-spinner, Nabi bowls stump-to-stump and relies on his change of pace and subtle variation to pick up wickets. Nabi is a very experienced campaigner.

In 127 ODI’s, he has picked up 132 wickets at a bowling average of 33.12. In T20 cricket, Nabi has played all around the world for various franchises. In 281 T20s, Nabi has taken 272 wickets at a bowling average of 23.58. He remains a key part of Afghanistan’s team, even in 2021.

 

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1. Rashid Khan

BRISTOL, ENGLAND – JUNE 1 : Rashid Khan of Afghanistan bowls during the ICC Cricket World Cup Group Match between Australia and Afghanistan at the County Ground on June 1, 2019 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Rashid Khan is undoubtedly the best Afghanistan bowler of all-time. He is also currently their best bowler. His numbers overall are quite incredible, split over Tests, ODI’s, T20Is and T20 leagues. In 74 ODI’s, he has taken 140 wickets at a bowling average of 18.57. This means that he is taking nearly 2 wickets per game, which puts him amongst the best in the world.

In both T20Is and T20s he has been lethal. Rashid Khan is arguably the best spinner in T20 cricket due to his excellent control and his variations. In just 48 T20Is, he has picked up 89 wickets at a ridiculous average of just 13. An economy rate of 6 also means that he hardly goes for runs.

Rashid Khan has become a T20 superstar in leagues across the world. He has been the main bowler for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, since his debut, picking up 75 wickets in 62 games at a bowling average of 20.49 and at an economy rate of 6.25.

Despite only playing four tests, Rashid Khan has already shown his potential in the longest format of the game. He has picked up 23 wickets at a bowling average of 21. He struggled in his first test against India, due to trying too many variations but has learnt since.

We hope you enjoyed our article on the top 5 best Afghanistan bowlers of all-time.

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