FORMER Afghanistan batting coach Umesh Patwal reckons that the Hashmatullah Shahidi-led team may cause a few upsets in the ICC World Cup beginning at Ahmedabad on October 5.
Defending champions England, runners-up in the 2019 edition New Zealand as well as five-time champions Australia need to counter Afghan spinners Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan and young chinaman bowler Noor Ahmad more tactfully on Indian pitches, felt Patwal.
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"Afghanistan can provide a couple of shocking results by beating two top teams in the World Cup. It can be anybody between England, New Zealand, Australia and Bangladesh," Patwal told mid-day.com from Porvorim, Goa, on Friday.
"They [Afghanistan] have very good spinners in Nabi, Rashid and Noor and have the advantage while playing against England in Indian conditions. Afghanistan's batting will mostly depend on Rahmat Shah, Shahidi and Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Considering his experience, all-rounder Nabi will be very effective and the way he is playing since one year, he will be like a main guy for them in this tournament," remarked Patwal, who is currently guiding Goa women's team as batting consultant.
When asked whether Afghanistan offer any challenge to Rohit Sharma & Co, he said: "No, there is no threat for India, because when they play against Indian players, they succumb to pressure due to psychological fear and poor mentality."
Afghanistan managed just a solitary win against Scotland in their first 2015 World Cup and lost all nine matches in the 2019 tournament.