Long characterised as the dependable workhorse of the Afghan pace attack, with press attention often focussed on the more flashy pair of Hameed Hassan and Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran is nonetheless a genuine fast bowler, generating surprising pace when he flings himself over his jutting, locked front leg. It’s an action few would coach into a young fast bowler, but it has served Zadran and Afghanistan well over the past eight years.
He became the third Afghanistan bowler to take 100 ODI wickets when he trapped Ireland’s Tim Murtagh LBW in the first ODI at Dehradun in February, and like Murtagh, the veteran seamer has shown on occasion that he’s no bunny with the bat either. His ODI average of 20 is more than creditable for a number 10, and has been rising steadily throughout his career. A defiant, unbeaten 47 against Zimbabwe at Sharjah last year included six sixes, and his presence in the side means Afghanistan can clear the ropes almost all the way down.
His fitness ahead of the tournament is a concern however, Zadran having played only two competitive matches since the end of the World Cup Qualifier last year due to recurring shoulder issues. Generally the first seamer on the team sheet for Afghanistan, and one of the few sure picks in the side, his rehabilitation will be key to Afghanistan’s hopes in England.
As first-choice opening seamer and lower-order wildcard, Zadran will play a key role with the ball at the start of the innings and the bat at the close.