The next couple of months are very important for Afghanistan and Ireland cricket as the team meet in a series of matches in India. This is classed as home series for Afghanistan and it begins with a Twenty20 International at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun, Uttarakhand on the 21st February.
Afghanistan In Form
Afghanistan will be feeling good about their chances ahead of this one and enter the game in great form. They have won each of their last three Twenty20 series, winning all seven matches across those three series. While the opposition has not been tough, Afghanistan have still got the job done and two of win the wins came against Ireland, away from home.
This makes Afghanistan the favourites to win this match and with the conditions to their liking, they will be confident of claiming victory. Afghanistan are 4/11 with William Hill to win the game.
Ireland Up Against It
Ireland come into this series having picked up a couple of wins in the recent Oman Quadrangular tournament. They defeated the hosts by 15 runs and Netherlands by 1 wicket and despite being narrow margins of victory, Ireland will be pleased to have claimed the two wins ahead of this difficult series.
The two defeats on home soil against Afghanistan last year will not do them any favours but they know what they are up against now. Ireland are the outsiders for this one, priced at 11/4 with Ladbrokes.
Hazratullah The Key
Afghanistan have three main batsman who will be hoping to score big in this match and one of them is Hazratullah Zazai. He batted well in Ireland last year and registered two half-centuries, scoring a total of 156 runs across the two matches. Hazratullah knows how to play against the Irish bowling attack and will be hoping to improve his average with some big scores in the series, starting with this game.
Hazratullah is 5/2 with Ladbrokes to be the top run scorer for Afghanistan.
Spin Bowling Vital
Ireland’s bowling attack will need to be at its best if they are to succeed in this match. The surface could suit left-arm spinner, George Dockrell. He has taken the most wickets for Ireland in T20 cricket, recording 62 in 57 games and will be keen to improve his statistics further at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.
Dockrell is on offer at 7/2 with Ladbrokes to be the top wicket taker for Ireland in this match.