4 Mar 2015

Afghans out to prove point

7:24 pm on 4 March 2015

Afghanistan want to show the world they belong at the World Cup - and they've set their sights on taking down Australia in order to prove their point.

Afghanistan's Dawlat Zadran celebrates his wicket of Sri Lanka's Lahiru Thrimanne.

Afghanistan's Dawlat Zadran celebrates his wicket of Sri Lanka's Lahiru Thrimanne. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Australia will start as raging favourites when they take on Afghanistan at the WACA Ground on Wednesday.

Boasting the likes of Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood, and James Faulkner, Australia possess a pace battery capable of inflicting mass damage on the cricketing minnows.

But if Afghanistan are scared, they're certainly not showing it.

"We're not just here to complete a fixture. We're here to win," defiant coach Andy Moles said.

"We understand it's highly unlikely. But we have a belief we can do it. We have to be 100 per cent in batting, bowling, and fielding, and Australia have to be way down in one of their areas.

"If we have the rub of the green and a little bit of panic sets into the opposition, (then we're a chance)."

Plans are afoot to cut the number of nations appearing at the next World Cup from 14 to 10.

If that eventuates, countries like Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, and Scotland are likely to be squeezed out.

Afghanistan have already beaten Scotland at this World Cup, and they were ultra competitive against Sri Lanka in a four-wicket loss.

Moles hopes impressive showings against Australia, New Zealand, and England will prove that Afghanistan deserve to be on the world stage.

And they are even daring to dream of landing a shock quarter-final berth.

"It's an opportunity for Afghanistan to be in the shop window to show the world we deserve to be here and we're a team of the future," Moles said.

"It's a test of character, bravery, and heart, and hopefully we pass."

Most players in the current Afghanistan squad were introduced to cricket while growing up in refugee camps in Pakistan.

It makes Wednesday's clash at the WACA a modern-day David and Goliath battle.

But with Australia languishing in fourth spot in Pool A, they are unlikely to show any mercy.

Australia's only previous clash with Afghanistan was back in 2012 in Sharjah.

In that encounter, Australia posted 8-272 from its 50 overs, before dismissing Afghanistan for a respectable 206 in 43.5 overs.