With the T20 World Cup in Australia now just months away, both Bangladesh and Afghanistan will want to do everything they can to make sure their teams are in the best possible shape when they arrive on Australian shores. That makes T20Is like this one vital. But who will come out on top? Read on for our full Bangladesh vs Afghanistan 1st T20 preview and prediction:
Bangladesh vs Afghanistan 1st T20 Preview and Prediction
Bangladesh have not enjoyed this format at all in recent times. They did manage to come through the first round at the World Cup, but were hammered from pillar to post in the Super12, losing all five matches they played. Things have not improved since as they were dismissed on home turf by Pakistan in a three-match series. That said, they have been playing some good Test and ODI cricket and may be able to capture that momentum here.
Afghanistan’s fortunes have not been that much better in the shortest format. They fell some way short of qualification for the semifinals at the World Cup, despite scoring two wins from their five matches, including a 130 run thrashing of Scotland. Ultimately, however, they were unable to compete with the big guns, losing to New Zealand, Pakistan and India. They have not played a T20 since, though they have won four of the six ODIs they have played.
Bangladesh will restore some of their senior players. Litton Das will likely return to the top of the order to open with potential debutant Munim Shahriar. Shakib Al Hasan also back in the XI at number three. Mushfiqur Rahman also looks set for a comeback. He will bat at four with Mahmudullah at five and Yasir Ali at six. Afif Hossain, after a fine ODI series, will be at seven with Mahedi Hasan at eight and Taskin Ahmed at nine. Nasum Ahmed and the excellent Mustafizur Rahman will round out the side.
Afghanistan will be looking to their opening partnership of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai to get them off to a good start. Young gun Darwish Rasooli may be in line for a debut at number three, with Najibullah Zadran in at four and captain Mohammad Nabi at five. All-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai looks to have a good chance of playing his first T20 with Karim Janat in at seven. Spinner Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will have a vital role to play. Fazalhaq Farooqi and Farid Ahmed will complete the XI.
Bangladesh may well look to move away from their policy of preparing massive turners even for T20s, with the increasingly widespread in Bangladesh that although it often guarantees them wins at home, it does nothing to prepare their sides for overseas engagements. Besides which, Afghanistan are hardly short of spinners. The tourists also look to have deeper batting stocks, at least in this form of the game, than their hosts. Expect Afghanistan to have the edge as a result.