Najibullah Zadran packs a punch with his bellicose left-hand batting, despite his slight frame. He has followed the same tried and tested route to the national side as many of his generation that came after the initial Afghan cricketing pioneers, with age-group cricket preparing him for the big stage. His ODI debut, against Ireland in Dublin in 2012, was possibly a little premature but Zadran’s batting turned a corner in 2014 and he started to look more at home. In July, his second-innings 99 helped Afghanistan beat a strong Zimbabwe A side in an unofficial Test, and in November his unbeaten 32-ball 60 helped set up a 54-run win over Pakistan A in a Twenty match. He started 2015 well with a maiden ODI fifty, a boundary-laden 83 against Ireland, and cruised into Afghanistan’s World Cup squad.