Mirwais Ashraf (R) will be a key bowler © Getty Images
Mirwais Ashraf (R) will be a key bowler © Getty Images

As Bangladesh face Afghanistan at home for the upcoming series, seamer Mirwais Ashraf has said that the Afghanistan bowling is going to be the visitors’ key to success. While the Afghanistan team has always been more famous for their powerful batting, Ashraf has said that the bowlers are not to be taken lightly and can be the turning point of the series. The Bangladesh series is a great opportunity for the Afghanistan team, as this is their first series at the country. The teams will play three One-Day Internationals (ODI) starting with the first on September 25 at Shere Bangla Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka.

Talking about the warm-up match with Bangladesh Cricket Board XI to espncricinfo.com, Ashraf said, “This was a great preparation for us after spending the last 20 days training in India. We played positive cricket and gave Bangladesh a tough time. Afghanistan’s bowling is a key area. It has legspin, left-arm spin, offbreak bowlers and the pace attack. The upcoming matches will be tough. Fareed and Janat are young and talented seam bowlers. They came from the U19s, and have the ability to swing the ball both ways. They deserve to be in the national team.”

Ashraf’s all-round performance took the Afghanistan team to victory. Talking about his own game he said, “I just play for the team, what they require from me. I try to play according to the condition. Variation is important since the pitch wasn’t suiting pace bowling.” READ: Shakib capable of breaking several records, says Razzak

Mosaddek Hossain, the uncapped Bangladesh cricketer who has been included in the squad, was the highest scorer for the hosts. Talking about his performance, he said, “Rashid [Khan] bowled accurately and had a lot of variations. I think he was harder to play than the other legspinner. He bowls the googly really well and can stick to bowling at one spot.” READ: Mosaddek Hossain confident of good show

“Reading the wicket was more important to me today. It was a tough wicket, kept low and there was turn. I think reading the wicket correctly was a big deal to me. A player has more self-belief when he has been selected to play for the country. I am in this mindset, that I have to prove why I am in the national team. I tried to bat till the end but unfortunately, I couldn’t manage it.

“Batting against them [Afghanistan] today has given me some confidence. I don’t think anything more will happen than what happened today. I think I will make use of any opportunity that comes in front of me,” he concluded.