About the Match
Afghanistan is leading the group B with two wins in two games while Zimbabwe cricket team with two out of two hunts so far in the World T20 sits below the South Asian side with a slight difference in run-rate.
Both teams will face each other on Saturday at Nagpur, and the winner will progress to Group 1 in the Super 10 round which makes this fixture just the more exciting.
With an impressive and ambitious squad, Afghanistan Cricket Team has made a substantial impact and sent a wave of inspiration to the cricketing world. A handful of teams have dominated cricket since last four or five decades. For a team like Afghanistan that has just appeared on the international scene, it's hard to settle in with a bunch of amateur players.
However, Afghans have defied all odds, winning seven of their previous eight games while thrashing Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe with 3-2 in ODI and 2-0 in T20 series. If this does not pour in enough confidence among the South Asian team’s squad, nothing else will.
The team may not be of a world class standard, yet they have the capacity to dominate the smaller teams and a tendency to upset the giants of cricket. Last time out, as we predicted, the Afghans thrashed Hong Kong in their second World T20 fixture with a six-wicket win and two overs still-to-go.
Afghanistan is unbeaten in its last four games against four different oppositions. With players like Mohammad Shahzad and Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan has the zeal to thrive in this format and develop promising players for the future who can capitalize on their recent efforts and success.
Zimbabwe is another underdog that is winning games, going into this fixture with a streak of four wins, beating Scotland, Hong Kong, and Bangladesh on its way.
As mentioned above, Zimbabwe may have the confidence of four wins but a defeat in series at home to Afghanistan is a memory they would want to have erased before they step on to the pitch in Nagpur and lock horns against the Afghans.
Despite their good run of form, Zimbabwe lags behind Afghanistan in T20 rankings as well as overall ratings, mainly due to their lack of form in this format of the game.
However, Zimbabwe has one thing the Afghanistan side is yet to achieve; experience. The like of Masakadza, Chigumbura, Sibanda and Raza have faced all the giants of cricket and understand all there is to know about pressure.
Despite the Zimbabwean experience, a hungry Afghanistan XI is capable of thumping Zimbabwe in the upcoming fixture. For the Afghans, this match is not just about progression to the next big round, but a significant step in the course to showcasing their skills and talent on the highest level by competing against the best cricketing nations in the world.
Hence, an Afghanistan win is likely to come, regardless of the little odds against them