6 things to look forward to in cricket in 2019
#5 Rise of Afghanistan and Bangladesh
For years, the oppositions barring Zimbabwe have always underrated the Bangladesh cricket team. There were times when the top-ranked teams used to field a second string squad against Bangladesh team. However, 2018 changed the oppositions’ perception about Bangladesh, as they fought toe-to-toe with every opponent in all the three formats.
In Tests, they demolished West Indies at home by winning both the matches as a revenge for their loss in the West Indies a few months back. Besides, they came back from behind and fought hard to draw the series against Zimbabwe 1-1 at home.
There is a huge upward curve in Bangladesh's ODI graph as they reached the finals of tri-series involving Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, and the Asia Cup. In T20Is, their performances in the Nidahas Trophy will remain in the minds of fans of not only Bangladesh but India and Sri Lanka too for a long time.
Afghanistan had a brilliant 2018 as they were awarded the Test status and played their maiden Test against India. Besides, their strong showing in the Asia Cup has already sent a strong warning message to the other teams participating in the World Cup. The war-filled nation will step into the World Cup as the underdogs with plenty of young limited-overs specialists in their squad.
With the cricket’s biggest tournament to be held in 2019, this year will be a crucial year for both these teams.