The struggling team of Sri Lanka is to face the in-form Afghanistan in their opening games of the World T20 in Eden Gardens. Afghanistan has dominated their superior opponents such as Zimbabwe in the qualifying round of the World T20, so they will definitely be having their tail up.
Pakistani legend Inzamam ul Haq has made look Afghanistan a totally different team, under his coaching. Afghanistan, who always had the talent, but did not have the temperament suitable for the game. Inzi has taught them to use their aggression intelligently and that has made Afghanistan a threat to any team of the world. The boys from Afghanistan have a different attitude; they are expressing themselves on the field with their distinctive celebration styles and anger over a miss-field or any poor performance.
Their captain, Asghar Stanikzai, is keeping his team well gelled. He is a calm character and tends to keep his mind cool under pressure situations. This is what has made him use his available resources so effectively. Mohammad Nabi offers his team the much needed balance as he is a compatible cricketer with the bat as well as with the ball in hand. Mohammad Shahzad is a passionate and aggressive opener, at the top order, he can be extremely devastating. Afghanistan also has a decent bowling attack, pacy bowlers with variety of spinners.
Sri Lanka has always been a champion team in world events, whether it is World Cup, World T20 or Champions Trophy. But, Sri Lanka doesn’t look as settle as a unit now as it used to be. After the retirement of their veteran duo, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumara Sangakkara, they seem to have lost the stability in their batting lineup.
The Islanders will once again heavily depend on their experienced cricketers Angelo Mathews, Thisara Parera and Dilshan. Their newcomers haven’t been able to click on the international arena yet and the experienced players in the side are expected to carry all the burden. Sri Lanka’s struggle is evident from their recent performance, where they have won only 3 of their last 16 completed international games.
Dinesh Chandimal and Tillakaratne Dilshan are in fine touch and they have been giving Sri Lanka a decent start. Despite of the current teams’ form and performances, Sri Lanka, the defending champions, has got an edge over Afghanistan due to their record in the world events.