The Bangladesh cricket team became a full member of ICC in 2000 when they played their first-ever Test match against India. Since then, the Tigers have evolved over a period of time and the team has produced a number of talented young players who have gone on to represent the country. On the other hand, Afghanistan is one such team which has evolved since its arrival on the international arena as well. They are a competitive limited-overs side and one of the best associate teams without a doubt but when it comes to Test cricket they are still lagging behind and are in desperate search of becoming a full member of ICC.
Let’s have a look at five similarities between these two teams.
Explosive top order batsmen
Both these teams, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, play an entertaining brand of cricket. The players love this sport and there are many entertaining cricketers in both sides. If Bangladesh have ‘Boom Boom’ Tamim Iqbal in their side, Afghanistan have the pocket-sized dynamo Mohammad Shahzad in their ranks. Both these aggressive openers have a similar type of batting approach and are true entertaining openers.
Even after being the underdogs against most of the high-ranked teams, they give their best on the field. Even after not having many experienced players like other teams have, they always fight till the end and never give up. How often have we seen these two teams upsetting higher-ranked teams in the past. If we talk about Bangladesh, they beat India in World Cup 2007 and hence the Men in Blue were knocked out of the competition in the first round itself. On the other hand, Afghanistan was the only team to beat World T20 champions West Indies earlier this year. No other team was able to do what the Afghan Tigers were able to in World T20 2016.
Versatile all-rounders in the team
Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah of Bangladesh and Mohammad Nabi of Afghanistan are a few of the best all-rounders of the associate teams. In fact, Shakib Al Hasan has been the best all-rounder Bangladesh has ever produced and his record across all formats is a proof of that. He was the number one ranked all-rounder in ICC rankings for a considerate period of time. Similarly, Mohammad Nabi has been the standout performer for Afghanistan who contributes with bat and ball more often than not.
Good bunch of fast bowlers
The two countries have had a good bunch of fast bowlers. Bangladesh have a pace battery in the likes of skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, young Taskin Ahmed and not to forget new sensation Mustafizur Rahman who has been the find of the decade for the Tigers. Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan have been the bowlers who comprise of Afghanistan’s bowling unit. These fascinating fast bowlers from both teams make the contests worth watching, isn’t it?
Craze about the sport amongst fans
The teams have a huge fan following for the sport in their respective countries. The fans from Bangladesh and Afghanistan absolutely love cricket. The stands are always full in support of these teams and the way cricket supporters of these two nations cheer for their team even when they lose, is really appreciable.
They’ll be soon up against each other in a 3-match ODI series. Who do you think will come out on top? Will it be the Tigers from Bangladesh or will it be the Blue Tigers from Afghanistan?