Afghanistan v Ireland T20Is 2020: Preview, Cricket Match Schedule, Squads and Fantasy Predictions
All you need to know about the Afghanistan v Ireland, 2020 series to be played in India comprising three T20I games to be played on March 6, 8 and 10.
Afghanistan's bilateral T20I record since January 2018 has been amazing. The team has registered five series wins in this period - 2-0 v Zimbabwe, 3-0 v Bangladesh, 2-0 v Ireland, 3-0 v Ireland and 2-1 v West Indies. They last lost a T20I series in June 2017.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board has renamed Asghar Afghan as the team's captain across formats. Just before the ODI World Cup, the ACB in April decided to go with split captaincy, putting Rahmat Shah in charge of Tests, while naming Gulbadin Naib for ODIs and Rashid for T20Is. The move not only brought a lost of criticism but did not bring them the desired results as well. Hence, this change.
Apart from the captaincy change, Afghanistan have also appointed former South Africa cricketer-turned-commentator Hylton Deon Ackerman as their batting coach.
The team would expect Ackerman to add to the positive change that has been brought about the addition of Lance Klusener, who took over as Afghanistan head coach in late September, and has produced results straightaway.
"We had a great comeback in the T20 series [against West Indies. Afghanistan's strength is T20 cricket," Klusener said, "Our challenge is always to score enough runs. The talent is there, it's amazing, it's young, it's fresh, but sometimes in big games and against very good opposition, it's about decision making, and that has let us down a little bit.
"We need experienced shoulders, and we need brave young talent," he said. "We need to nurture that talent, we need to help it, grow it, and show consistency in selection. Yes, youngsters do frustrate us sometimes but that's why it's important that our batting in the middle has some experience around them and cool heads around them."
Afghanistan have recalled 32-year-old pacer Shapoor Zadran for the Ireland T20Is. There will be a lot of interest around youngsters - medium-pace-bowling all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai and leg-spinner Qais Ahmed. The two 19-year-olds have invited praise wherever they have gone and are tipped to make their T20I debuts.
For Ireland, lead pacer Mark Adair misses out as he is still recovering from an ankle problem. The team has gone for Shane Getkate in his place. Andrew Balbirnie will continue to lead the side as they expect to curb Afghanistan's dominance over the country in T20Is in recent times.
Winner - Afghanistan (2-1)
Top Run Scorer - Hazratullah Zazai (Afghanistan), Andrew Balbirnie (Ireland)
Top Wicket Taker - Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Gareth Delany (Ireland)
Most Sixes - Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghanistan), Andrew Balbirnie (Ireland)
Here are the squads of both teams:
Afghanistan - Asghar Afghan (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Hazratullah Zazai, Karim Janat, Najib Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Naveen ul Haq, Shapoor Zadran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Qais Ahmad, Azmatullah Omarzai, Samiullah Shinwari, Usman Ghani
Ireland - Andrew Balbirnie (c), Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O'Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson, Craig Young
Here's the complete schedule of the series:
Mar 06 Afghanistan v Ireland, 1st T20I Greater Noida Sports Complex, Greater Noida 8:30 AM
Mar 08 Afghanistan v Ireland, 2nd T20I Greater Noida Sports Complex, Greater Noida 8:30 AM
Mar 10 Afghanistan v Ireland, 3rd T20I Greater Noida Sports Complex, Greater Noida 8:30 AM
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