Afghanistan v India, World T20 2012, Group A, Colombo September 18, 2012

'We rate ourselves highly' - Mangal

43

For all the goodwill and excitement Afghanistan have generated with their heady rise, it does not change the fact that they are quite a raw side at the top level, and that they understandably view their second World Twenty20 as a learning experience. Causing an upset will be an unbelievable high, of course, but more than that, Nawroz Mangal, their captain, wants to show the world that Afghanistan can compete at the highest level in international cricket.

"It is a learning phase for us and coming into this World Twenty20, the expectations are quite high," Mangal said. "Everyone is saying Afghanistan is capable of creating an upset. We will put up a good show to prove that we belong to this stage."

Afghanistan have played just four games against Test-playing sides till date, losing by big margins. They will meet their first Test-level opponents, India, again tomorrow, after going down to them by seven wickets in the 2010 World Twenty20. Mangal said the side that walks out on Tuesday evening will be completely different to the one from two years ago. "India is a big team. We are very excited and looking forward to this game. Tomorrow you will see a different team from what we were in the last World Twenty20."

It will be a "totally different appearance" from Afghanistan tomorrow because they have progressed vastly since the previous World Twenty20, according to Mangal. "We rate ourselves highly. Boys have done brilliantly since last World Twenty20. We have much improved cricketers now in the team, bowling, batting or fielding.

"Playing India and South Africa in the last World Twenty20 and after that we played a wonderful qualifier event...some of our main players were missing in that but we still played really well to qualify. After that, we played Pakistan and Australia and according to cricket experts, our performance was good. This time, we can learn a lot from the India game and [hopefully] put up a good show and give them a hard time."

Mangal said Afghanistan had done their homework when asked about their preparations against a good spinner such as R Ashwin. "We have done brilliantly in the past against quality spinners. We played [Saeed] Ajmal in the Pakistan game and yesterday, we played [Sunil] Narine, and we haven't seen difficulties. We have done our homework against Ashwin. Hopefully the batters can cope and deliver."

Afghanistan's rise has found tremendous support back home and the side's manager Shafiqullah Stanikzai said there was widespread awareness in the country about their participation in the World Twenty20. "The support is quite huge. Almost everyone knows that Afghanistan are in Sri Lanka and participating in the World Twenty20. More than 50-60 people from Afghanistan have contacted me for tickets. Every single Afghan is supporting the Afghan national cricket team."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sandeep.M.J.D on September 20, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    I remeber when Kenya qualified for the 1996 WC (correct me if wrong), there was a wide spread opinion that Kenya will cause upsets to few of the major teams in that WC. But what happened from then to now is almost forgettable. So no hurry, wait and watch. I still remember what happened to Zimbabwe after few good players left the team. Kenya was no different when the downfall started. Bangladesh and Ireland yet to reach that stage to make few of us talk.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 19, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    I hope the ICC grants official ODI status to Afghanistan soon. Zimbabwe, Bangladesh are not proving worthy of their test status (no offence to them). At least, Ireland and Afghanistan are showing how hungry they are to compete against quality teams. So good luck Afghani boys and God bless !!

  • sewd on September 19, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    Afghanistan will be the surprise packet. Had the opportunity to see a few of them from close quarters, physically they have an edge over the Indian team. Since 20-20 is more of an instinct game it will suit their persona. One inspired perfomance can overshadow all the best laid out plans. Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainities as we have heard before and what better way than for Afghanistan to upset India. The Afghani brethren deserve it, however I want my team India to win the cup.

  • on September 19, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    @sapnil2000: Look Look who's talking, new born baby Bangladesh gloating over 2-3 wins over India in 9-10 years. How many years elapsed since you came in cricket scenario?? still a minnow, eh?? Whining over Tamim not included in Pune's playing XI?? Big talk from small mouth

  • crindo77 on September 19, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    India's rear is HUGE and well padded with cash. If 8 kicks from Eng and Oz couldn't do it, seriously doubt Afghanistan's will. As for some posters who keep responding to BD supporters taunts about possible Eid gifts, show some dignity! Everybody likes to see the overbearing dominant neighbour humbled, normal human reaction. That doesn't mean you have to start on elaborate statistics to state the obvious. Makes you appear insecure. And the shorter the game the better the chances are for the weaker teams. BDs cricketing skills are Associate Level, even after more than 10 years of Test status. Compare that to SL, who played their first Test in 1982, won their first Test series in 1985, and won the WC just 14 years later, in 1996. And relax, its only cricket!!

  • tatactg on September 19, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Yes BD have won more than 1 match in a world cup - way back in 2007 in WI against India(irony , all indians should remember that) and SA & against WI in SA T20 - all outside their country 5 years ago with a very weak cricket team. BD fans jump up when they beat other teams simply because they are here & here to stay and grow strong. As for Kenya , Zim , Ire no one knows about their cricket team in their country & no one give a damn.

  • mtalhas on September 19, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    Very soon afghanistan will replace bangladesh in the rankings.afgh is far better in terms of talent and balance.it wud be intersting to see their progress towards test cricket where bangladesh is just wasting a spot and doing nothing since 10 years.against india their chances are fair but not very good.in terms of balance they are better than india.the only thing india has is a strong batting.

  • Sandeep.M.J.D on September 19, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    @sapnil2000, you can live in your unrealistic world as long as you want and write off India. I'm not complaining about the hilarious false things you wrote about India. But remember BD yet to prove they deserve to mention them in the Cricket history and before that they need to justify their ODI, T20 and Test status. All the best.

  • Sandeep.M.J.D on September 19, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    Time for a big win with record margin. JAIHIND.

  • on September 19, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Long Life Afghan Tigers You can Do it. You will show the world today that you tigers can beat any team. Best wishes and Allah Bless You All. Prayers of millions of Afghans are with you tigers. Love you all and best of luck

  • Sandeep.M.J.D on September 20, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    I remeber when Kenya qualified for the 1996 WC (correct me if wrong), there was a wide spread opinion that Kenya will cause upsets to few of the major teams in that WC. But what happened from then to now is almost forgettable. So no hurry, wait and watch. I still remember what happened to Zimbabwe after few good players left the team. Kenya was no different when the downfall started. Bangladesh and Ireland yet to reach that stage to make few of us talk.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 19, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    I hope the ICC grants official ODI status to Afghanistan soon. Zimbabwe, Bangladesh are not proving worthy of their test status (no offence to them). At least, Ireland and Afghanistan are showing how hungry they are to compete against quality teams. So good luck Afghani boys and God bless !!

  • sewd on September 19, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    Afghanistan will be the surprise packet. Had the opportunity to see a few of them from close quarters, physically they have an edge over the Indian team. Since 20-20 is more of an instinct game it will suit their persona. One inspired perfomance can overshadow all the best laid out plans. Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainities as we have heard before and what better way than for Afghanistan to upset India. The Afghani brethren deserve it, however I want my team India to win the cup.

  • on September 19, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    @sapnil2000: Look Look who's talking, new born baby Bangladesh gloating over 2-3 wins over India in 9-10 years. How many years elapsed since you came in cricket scenario?? still a minnow, eh?? Whining over Tamim not included in Pune's playing XI?? Big talk from small mouth

  • crindo77 on September 19, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    India's rear is HUGE and well padded with cash. If 8 kicks from Eng and Oz couldn't do it, seriously doubt Afghanistan's will. As for some posters who keep responding to BD supporters taunts about possible Eid gifts, show some dignity! Everybody likes to see the overbearing dominant neighbour humbled, normal human reaction. That doesn't mean you have to start on elaborate statistics to state the obvious. Makes you appear insecure. And the shorter the game the better the chances are for the weaker teams. BDs cricketing skills are Associate Level, even after more than 10 years of Test status. Compare that to SL, who played their first Test in 1982, won their first Test series in 1985, and won the WC just 14 years later, in 1996. And relax, its only cricket!!

  • tatactg on September 19, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Yes BD have won more than 1 match in a world cup - way back in 2007 in WI against India(irony , all indians should remember that) and SA & against WI in SA T20 - all outside their country 5 years ago with a very weak cricket team. BD fans jump up when they beat other teams simply because they are here & here to stay and grow strong. As for Kenya , Zim , Ire no one knows about their cricket team in their country & no one give a damn.

  • mtalhas on September 19, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    Very soon afghanistan will replace bangladesh in the rankings.afgh is far better in terms of talent and balance.it wud be intersting to see their progress towards test cricket where bangladesh is just wasting a spot and doing nothing since 10 years.against india their chances are fair but not very good.in terms of balance they are better than india.the only thing india has is a strong batting.

  • Sandeep.M.J.D on September 19, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    @sapnil2000, you can live in your unrealistic world as long as you want and write off India. I'm not complaining about the hilarious false things you wrote about India. But remember BD yet to prove they deserve to mention them in the Cricket history and before that they need to justify their ODI, T20 and Test status. All the best.

  • Sandeep.M.J.D on September 19, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    Time for a big win with record margin. JAIHIND.

  • on September 19, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Long Life Afghan Tigers You can Do it. You will show the world today that you tigers can beat any team. Best wishes and Allah Bless You All. Prayers of millions of Afghans are with you tigers. Love you all and best of luck

  • Great_Chucker on September 19, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    @ sapnil2000 ..hope u atleast win one match in this WC ..outside their country....you guys jump up when u win once in a bluemoon against a top nation...but nations like kenya,Ireland or Zim don't do that

  • AmjadZork on September 19, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    Best of Luck from Pakistan... May you win today's match !!! Inshallah !!!

  • praveen4honestremark on September 19, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    @sapnil2000 on (September 19 2012, 04:06 AM GMT)..Thanks for putting what you think of Indian team. Don't come to conclusion based on what media says. There are plenty of Indian fans here who have posted the results of Indian success abroad. I don't have that list with me right now. But have to give you small example: India in 2003 Adelaide test won against mighty Aussies with Dravid making double century.We have many tests atleast more than your team. So, when fact is infront of you that India is way ahead of BD why you should be jealous??..instead think us as big brother and be friendly with us. And i don't even talk about your records. It's only you have to think how BD cricket is.

  • sneeky55 on September 19, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    I hope Afghanistan beat India and progress for two reasons. One, it will give Afghanistan a better chance to prove themselves, and two, it will give India the much needed kick up the rear.

    COMING FROM AN INDIAN FAN.

  • on September 19, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    Hope Hamid Hassan is fit!!

  • CricketMaan on September 19, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    Spirited interview!! good confidence, now all we need is a good competitive match. @sapnil2000 - you have every right to dislike any team..but rather spend all your positive engergy supporting Bangladesh..let inidian media and us indian fans worry about our teamm, and BTW the first T20 was won on SA pitches by India..yes we have been poor in the recent past, but so has Aus and Eng who too has rich cricketing history!!!!

  • on September 19, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    @sapnil2000:- I really admire your cricketing knowledge.. BD never one a series against India.. you can only win some one off matches and India have better records against SA/PAK/SL and AUS in t20 matches. in T20, all test playing nations are equal.. Remember what Shewag has done to you in 50 LOI World cup 2011.. Good luck to you and your team

  • on September 19, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Afghanistan team well wine this macthe anshaallah

  • on September 19, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    good luck Afghanistan you are the best.

  • on September 19, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    good luck Afghanistan you are the best.

  • sharidas on September 19, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    As an avid follower of the game, I wish the Afghanistan team all the best.And in this format of the game, how one does on a given day, matters.

  • Shrikant25 on September 19, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    Best of luck afghan but u will lose badly.

  • PakGuns on September 19, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    I Think if Afg bats first then it can pose a handsome total against school bowlers.

  • RoohullahStanikzai on September 19, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Yes Good luck, every single afghan has big hope from team this time in T20 to put march hard times to other teams. that is why i chosen Mr Mangal is my captain in ICC Fantasy World T20 game. Good luck guys.

  • siddhant328 on September 19, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Afghanistan has turned out to be the quickest improver and learner in the International cricket, much better than Bangladeshi improvement. The way they have made a mark in the cricket arena, notches the hopes of me like cricket fans who want this sport to be the most loved International sport, some day. Their development as a unit, despite an unfortunate history, has encouraged the effort to increase the popularity of cricket worldwide. Here lies an obvious reason of why I want Afghans to win and grow, like each of us possess a common mentality of supporting a weaker sporting unit against a stronger one. But, being an Indian, I won't hope for an upset (though upset is not very unusual for Indians). Though, I hope for an Afghan upset against English. For today's game, best of lucks to both team. Let the game of cricket win.

  • on September 19, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    @sapnil2000 your team couldn't win against minnows ireland in the warm up match.. don't worry about India. Your national team needs more support so that they can qualify for the super 8 stage.. It will be a greater eid gift for you rather than India's exit from the world cup..

  • woodhaven on September 19, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    @sparta army-- i understand ur frustration. bangladesh is the reason, india kicked out from world cup from group stage in 2007, from asia cup in last series. so india dont have to face another humiliation. i still remember, indian media says shehwag will break tendulkar's 200 in ODI and india will make 440 runs in ODI, later they shove their foot in their mouth, it was fun, so much fun

  • henchart on September 19, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Mr.Mangal rating his own team highly is akin to Sharda Ugra and Harsha Bhogle considering themselves Pearl S Buck and Somerset Maugham respectively!As for sapnil2000 : the person is entitled to his/her opinion and not that it is right or wrong.No need to go ballistic .These are the ruses employed by few to set the cat amongst the pigeons like the other day,when a warm up game evoked 500 odd comments .Talk about unsung,low profile steady performers like Amla,Kallis,Smith and Ab .One can add Brendon,Vettori to that list.

  • sapnil2000 on September 19, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    @narbavi- and praveen-- bangladesh has superior record against NZ, 4-0 whitewash and against india BD always make highest score, and last meeting they kicked out india from going to final. even in their first ever test match, BD scored 445 run in first innings. I dont like india because indian media praise india, which indian team dont deserve. they never win outside of their background. Its not same quality team like saf, aussie, pak and srilanka.

  • on September 19, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    @spartaarmy: A country of 1.2B population can't produce a genuine fast bowler mate how can you put India in the list taking pakistan out.

  • joseyesu on September 19, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    If you have the confidence to play AJMAL and NARINE, then ASHWIN won't be a problem

  • Narbavi on September 19, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    @sapnil2000: You will receive your eid gift when taylor smashes your team out of the tournament in the first round, but its not new for you guys isn't it??

  • Meety on September 19, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    I want to state right at the beginning - I am hoping very much for a strong performance by Afghanistan in this event. I like the heading of the article, however, if this quote was attributed to an Ozzy, everyone would be labelling it arrogant. Fact is, under no circumstance is "rating yourself highly" could be called arrogance. Confident - YES. Good luck Afghanistan, hope Hamid Hasan is fully fit!

  • SpartaArmy on September 19, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    It would be better off if teams like Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Ireland and kenya have a separate tournament instead of competing with these top teams. The contest becomes boring more often than not when minnows play strong teams. Anyhow Afghanistan seems like a team which has the potential to improve and stand besides strong teams in the years to come. I hope they do not become an other bangladesh; cricket needs more number of competitive teams to be more interesting. It shouldn't be always Ind, Aus, SA, Eng, SL, NZ & WI.

  • Azooz-Afgfan on September 19, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    Nowroz u Rockz hope u play a Captian's innings and impress every around the prove them wrong..best of Luck Allah Maa3kum.

  • praveen4honestremark on September 19, 2012, 0:21 GMT

    @sapnil2000 on (September 18 2012, 23:53 PM GMT)..Why Afghan beating India amuses you so much?? I am hoping it is not a typical Bangladeshi mentality. Don't understand why that hate?? May be you should retrospect yourself.

  • sapnil2000 on September 18, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    Good luck afghan from bangla fan, if u can kick india out of tournament, that would be eid gift

  • tatail on September 18, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    Before saying best of luck or good luck.. I would like to tell the Afghan team believe and only believe.. Believe in your abilities not that of the opponents ability. If you believe in the opponents ability but don't do anything about it of course it is your loss.

    So just go positive but believe in your ability and deliver...

  • limer786 on September 18, 2012, 22:51 GMT

    Woowwww cant wait for tomorrow ,,

    My best of luck to our Rising stars of Cricket ,, we all know that competing again india, england is not easy because these teams are the fathers of cricket but still we hope Afghanistan will give them some tough time , but i hope they dont do anything like Marking the bouncing balls and trying to play them front foot, ,,,, just wish they play their normal game as they did in Sharjah for qualifying , .. Inshallah we can qualify for super 8 ...

  • on September 18, 2012, 21:25 GMT

    All the Best Afghans.... Rock the Stage...

  • on September 18, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    All the best Nawroz Mangal .Hopefully you will do the best In sha Allah .

  • on September 18, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    congrats guys for ur rise in the game of cricket...jope you do well ...

  • on September 18, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    Best of luck to them. I genuinely hope they come through somehow.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on September 18, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    Best of luck to them. I genuinely hope they come through somehow.

  • on September 18, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    congrats guys for ur rise in the game of cricket...jope you do well ...

  • on September 18, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    All the best Nawroz Mangal .Hopefully you will do the best In sha Allah .

  • on September 18, 2012, 21:25 GMT

    All the Best Afghans.... Rock the Stage...

  • limer786 on September 18, 2012, 22:51 GMT

    Woowwww cant wait for tomorrow ,,

    My best of luck to our Rising stars of Cricket ,, we all know that competing again india, england is not easy because these teams are the fathers of cricket but still we hope Afghanistan will give them some tough time , but i hope they dont do anything like Marking the bouncing balls and trying to play them front foot, ,,,, just wish they play their normal game as they did in Sharjah for qualifying , .. Inshallah we can qualify for super 8 ...

  • tatail on September 18, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    Before saying best of luck or good luck.. I would like to tell the Afghan team believe and only believe.. Believe in your abilities not that of the opponents ability. If you believe in the opponents ability but don't do anything about it of course it is your loss.

    So just go positive but believe in your ability and deliver...

  • sapnil2000 on September 18, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    Good luck afghan from bangla fan, if u can kick india out of tournament, that would be eid gift

  • praveen4honestremark on September 19, 2012, 0:21 GMT

    @sapnil2000 on (September 18 2012, 23:53 PM GMT)..Why Afghan beating India amuses you so much?? I am hoping it is not a typical Bangladeshi mentality. Don't understand why that hate?? May be you should retrospect yourself.

  • Azooz-Afgfan on September 19, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    Nowroz u Rockz hope u play a Captian's innings and impress every around the prove them wrong..best of Luck Allah Maa3kum.

  • SpartaArmy on September 19, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    It would be better off if teams like Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Ireland and kenya have a separate tournament instead of competing with these top teams. The contest becomes boring more often than not when minnows play strong teams. Anyhow Afghanistan seems like a team which has the potential to improve and stand besides strong teams in the years to come. I hope they do not become an other bangladesh; cricket needs more number of competitive teams to be more interesting. It shouldn't be always Ind, Aus, SA, Eng, SL, NZ & WI.