Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Spirited Afghanistan will meet struggling Pakistan in a match of the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup 2023 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Monday.

Bolstered by their victory against formidable England, minnows Afghanistan seem to be determined for another major upset in the mega event.

In their last match against Australia, Pakistan lost by 62 runs and they will enter this match against Afghanistan with two wins and two defeats.

On the other hand, Afghanistan have won only one match in their campaign so far, famously defeating England for only their second-ever World Cup win. Against Pakistan, they will be facing their arch-rivals, which will be enough motivation to fight for a victory, which could reignite their campaign.

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja pointed out that Afghanistan’s famous spin department could outplay Pakistan in Chennai and prove to be a key factor.

“It will be difficult for Pakistan to make a turnaround. Anything can happen in Chennai in their next match against Afghanistan. Keeping in mind the performance of Pakistan batters against spin, anything can happen here. If it’s a spinning wicket, I think Afghanistan will be slightly ahead as favourites,” said Ramiz on his official YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, former speedster Shoaib Akhtar has also a word of caution for the Pakistan cricket team to be extremely careful and put their best foot forward to avoid another embarrassing defeat against the high-flying Afghanistan team.

Ajay Jadeja factor for Afghanistan in World Cup match against Pakistan

Apart from the spin factor and the massive confidence they have gained after beating England, another key factor for Afghanistan will be their mentor-former India captain Ajay Jadeja. 

The former India right-handed aggressive batsman is a master strategist. He had played a key role in Afghanistan’s famous win against one of the title favourites- England.

Afghanistan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz had expressed gratitude towards Jadeja for helping the team by being an invaluable asset during the World Cup campaign. 

Jadeja is currently serving as a mentor for the Afghanistan men’s team and his inputs have seemingly helped the subcontinent team take their game a notch above.

After Afghanistan’s victory against mighty England, Gurbaz had reflected on Jadeja’s role and heaped praises on him.

“Jadeja is a man who always gives happiness to you. He has made cricket easy for us. He always says just go and enjoy. We love him, and he is someone special for us. He tells us to keep things simple, just go and enjoy. That is the most important tip for us,” Gurbaz had said.

When was Jadeja assigned the crucial role?

 

Jadeja was appointed as the team mentor before the start of the World Cup. Alongside head coach Jonathan Trott, Jadeja appears to have worked miracles with the talented Afghan side. As a mentor, Jadeja’s role is little more than just focusing on the technical side of things.

He is working individually with players regarding the psychological side of their game, as well as imparting tactical acumen.

Moreover, during his playing days, Jadeja’s exploits against Pakistan and his tactical acumen as a captain are well known. Under his tutelage and with his valuable inputs, fans across the globe won’t be surprised anymore if the talented Afghanistan side manages to cause another major upset in the mega tournament against the Green Army which seems to have currently hit the all-time low.
 

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