Auckland: New Zealand coach Mike Hesson insisted Monday that the high-flying Black Caps will pay Afghanistan the utmost respect having tracked the Asian minnows` astonishing progress at close range.
Hesson briefly coached Kenya in 2011 and 2012 with the African side coming up against the Afghans in second-tier events.
The 40-year-old will renew his rivalry with them in the World Cup in Napier on Sunday.
"They have three guys who bowl over 140km/h and they can swing it," he said of quicks Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran and Hamid Hassan.
"Generally, their batsmen don`t die wondering. It should be a good contest. We have to show them due respect and make sure we put in a good performance."
New Zealand have won all four games in Pool A and have already secured their spot in the quarter-finals while Afghanistan can still gate-crash the last-eight, standing just a point behind Australia after losing to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka before edging Scotland by one wicket.
Their next challenge is taking on four-time champions Australia in Perth on Wednesday.
"We`ll do our scouting on Afghanistan and we`ll prepare the best we can. We`ve still got a lot to achieve in the next few weeks," said Hesson, whose team secured their quarter-final spot on Saturday with a nail-biting one-wicket win over Australia in Auckland.