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Afghan spinners will be a handful at World Cup, says Nabi
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Afghan spinners will be a handful at World Cup, says Nabi

Mohammad Nabi said Afghanistan's spinners would be a handful at the World Cup following their experiences of playing in England and in the Indian Premier League.

The 34-year-old will form a dangerous spin attack alongside Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman at the World Cup, with all three currently featuring in the IPL.

Nabi and Khan also played for Leicestershire and Sussex respectively in T20 Blast last year, while Rahman has signed a deal with Middlesex for the upcoming season.

"Ours is a good combination because Rashid and Mujeeb are wicket-taking bowlers and I am more defensive, bowling a lot of dot balls," Nabi told AFP in an interview.

"It was a great experience for us and was of big help," he said of last year's T20 Blast. "Rashid and I bowled really well and he also batted well.

"We will quickly get adjusted to the conditions there hopefully," added Nabi, who will represent Kent in this year's 20-over contest.

Both Nabi and Khan have contributed in Hyderabad's campaign while 18-year-old Rahman is representing Kings XI Punjab.

But Nabi said the intense pressure in the IPL was great preparation for the World Cup despite contrasting differences between T20 and 50-over cricket.

"The IPL helps a lot," Nabi said. "If you play these kind of pressure games before the World Cup it will help a lot in the tournament against top opposition teams."

"It is a white-ball format after all. Yes it is a change of format but you can adjust easily to the 50-over game," he added.

Nabi hopeful of carrying IPL form into World Cup

Nabi's seven wickets from less than 16 overs while conceding 87 runs, has made him one of the top 10 bowlers in this year's IPL.

He will now hope to take that form into the World Cup, where Afghanistan take on the five-time World champions Australia on June 1.

The middle-order batsman has been a significant figure in Afghanistan's fairy tale rise, captaining the side at their first World Cup in 2015.

But while many Afghanistan players learned the art in refugee camps in Pakistan, Nabi hails from a wealthy Afghan family that lived in Pakistan during the Soviet invasion.

Since beating the odds to compete at the 2010 World T20 in England, Afghanistan have qualified for all major international tournaments and won their inaugural Test against Ireland in India last month.

"It was a historic occasion," Nabi said of the historic win.

Now expectations are rising for their second World Cup, where Afghanistan's cricketers will hope to bring further joy to their war-torn nation.

"We will try our best at the World Cup and challenge every team that we play against," Nabi said.

"Inshallah (God-willing) in future we will challenge everybody in Test cricket."