You would be surprised and try to remember at least one face out of Afghanistan's playing eleven. In all probability, you will fail to recall. Just six years into international cricket and this team, tagged 'underdogs', has made achievements for which other teams had to toil for much longer .  

Let me back my observations with some statistics: Out of the last five matches they have played, Afghanistan has won all five while Sri Lanka, just one. Shocking, right? Afghanistan has beaten Zimbabwe in T20 and ODI series, both at home and away, before knocking them out of T20 World Cup 2016.

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Sri Lanka has also witnessed its share of scare against Afghanistan in ICC World Cup 2015, where the century from Jayawardene saved them from a potential upset. With the retirement of two batting greats last year, Sri Lanka looks more vulnerable than ever and their opponents today would love to exploit this opportunity and hunt down the 'Lions'.

Mohammad Nabi will look to help his team with an all-round performance, while Shehzad will want to give a good start with the bat. Sri Lanka, on the other side, is still reeling from Malinga's injury and it's uncertain whether he will take part in today's game or not. Although, the revamped Lankan side will fancy proving its worth.


Mohammad Shahzad (wk),  Noor Ali Zadran,  Asghar Stanikzai (capt),  Mohammad Nabi,  Gulbadin Naib,  Shafiqullah,  Samiullah Shenwari,  Najibullah Zadran,  Dawlat Zadran, Rashid Khan,  Hamid Hassan/Amir Hamza

Sri Lanka:

Dinesh Chandimal (wk),  Tillakaratne Dilshan,  Lahiru Thirimanne,  Milinda Siriwardana, Angelo Mathews (capt),  Chamara Kapugedera,  Thisara Perera/Dasun Shanaka,  Nuwan Kulasekara,  Rangana Herath,  Sachithra Senanayake,  Dushmantha Chameera

By: Ira Shukla

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