Cricket: Afghanistan betting predictions, odds for ICC World Cup
Afghanistan are 100-1 bolters with sportsbooks for the 2019 ICC World Cup but here at the WGL we predict they will do better than most expect.
While we can’t see the Afghanistan team making it to the semi-finals, we fully expect their tricky bowling line-up led by the redoubtable Rashid Khan to knock over a couple of rival top orders.
They are the feelgood story of this ODI World Cup in England and Wales, and many fans will get behind them as their “second” team.
Khan is a genuine superstar of short-form cricket and we can’t wait to see what he can do at the bowling crease even though it’s widely expected spinners will not be suited by the pitches.
In the lead-up to the ODI World Cup starting on May 30, the WGL will give our predictions on the overall prospects of each of the 10 teams, as well as likely top run-scorer and wicket-taker.
England and India head the betting to win the 2019 ICC World Cup final at Lord’s on July 14.
Where Afghanistan will finish in the 2019 World Cup
WGL prediction: Eighth. Afghanistan have three world-class spinners: Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. They seem certain to be used early and often but if the pitches are not spin friendly their attack may largely be blunted. Unlikely to rack up the super-high totals likely to be needed to be competitive against some of the big guns of the tournament.
Afghanistan’s World Cup draw
June 1: Afghanistan v Australia, County Ground Bristol (d/n)
June 4: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Cardiff Wales Stadium
June 8: Afghanistan v New Zealand, County Ground Taunton (d/n)
June 15: South Africa v Afghanistan, Cardiff Wales Stadium (d/n)
June 18: England v Afghanistan, Old Trafford, Manchester
June 22: India v Afghanistan, Hampshire Bowl, Southampton
June 24: Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Hampshire Bowl, Southampton
June 29: Pakistan v Afghanistan, Headingley, Leeds
July 4: Afghanistan v Windies, Headingley, Leeds
Afghanistan squad for the 2019 ICC World Cup
Coach: Phil Simmons
Mohammad Shahzad (wicketkeeper)
Noor Ali Zadran
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Gulbadin Naib (captain)
Leading wicket-taker predictions for Afghanistan
The rising superstar Rashid Khan is very much a bowling all-rounder. He averages a handy 22.8 with the bat in one-day internationals but a stunning 15.33 with the ball. If any spinner is going to have a stellar World Cup it could easily be him. We think the odds for him to be the leading wicket-taker at this World Cup of $17 with William Hill are enticing and will be having a small wager to that end. He is a skinny at $1.70 to be leading wicket-taker for Afghanistan, so we will let that one pass through to the keeper.
Leading run-scorer tips for Afghanistan
Batting looks a much bigger problem for Afghanistan than their bowling attack in England. If you want to gamble on potential you could bet on Hazratullah Zazai, who has been hailed as the “Afghani Chris Gayle”. He heads the betting at $4 to be his team’s leading run-scorer, though we lean to another of the equal favourites, the more experienced Mohammad Shahzad, the dashing wicketkeeper. It seems unlikely any of their batsmen will get near leading run-scorer overall.
Afghanistan prediction – Can they defy the odds?
Unfortunately not. A couple of wins from their group matches would be a fantastic result for coach Phil Simmons, a former West Indies all-rounder. They will certainly be a fascinating team to watch with exciting players such as the big-hitting newcomer Hazratullah Zazai and the classy spin bowling attack.
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