Afghanistan vs Australia: Australia will face Afghanistan in the fourth game of 2019 World Cup. The defending champions, Australia seem to be in a solid form having won back to back series this year. They have also lived up to their impression of being World Cup favourites by decimating the opposition in the world cup warm-up games. The Aaron Finch-captained team will look to continue their winning momentum in the match against Afghanistan. Although Afghanistan are in the lower block of the ranking table, the experts warn against taking the Afghan team too easily.
Afghanistan handsomely defeated Pakistan to register their win in their first warm-up game of World Cup 2019. The team showed exemplary calm and maturity in the game. Although, underdogs, they played like champions and the hunger for a win showed in their efforts. They threw themselves at every opportunity passing by, which translated into a colossal win for the team. Afghanistan defeated Pakistan by 3 wickets in the warmup game. However, in the game that followed, against England at the Kennington Oval in London, Afghanistan faced a lot of embarrassment; losing the game by nine wickets.
This game will also mark the return of David Warner and Steve Smith to the international arena in the yellow jersey. Warner, who decimated the opposition in almost every match in the recent IPL season, made a clear statement that he means business. Smith too had put an outstanding performance in 2019 season of IPL. Both Smith and Warner will be a major asset to the team, not just in this game but also in the games to follow. However, there are minor doubts over Warner’s presence in the team owing to fitness concerns.
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The game between Australia and Afghanistan will be played at County Ground in Bristol.
With weather reports confirming no chance of rains tomorrow, fans can rejoice and expect a full, uninterrupted game. However, the skies will be covered in thick clouds, with a forecast of 70 per cent cloud cover. The temperature will make for great playing conditions for the players; temperature is expected to hover around the 19-degree Celsius mark. Percentage of humidity could reach the 70s mark during the game.
Just like all England pitches, the one at Bristol too is expected to be a paradise for batsmen; A testament of the same could be the last match that was played on this ground, which produced over 720 runs. Out of the 16 ODIs played on this ground, nine were won by the team batting second. Hence it may be a probable choice for the team that wins the toss to field first.
Afghanistan have played Australia merely on two occasions, with the latter winning on both occasions. Afghanistan have put on good performances recently and would look at seizing this opportunity to garner the respect they have been longing for.
Mohammad Shahzad, who missed the second warm-up due to a hamstring injury, may make his way back into the team. His return may cost Noor Ali Zadran his place in the playing eleven. The team will depend on Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi to manage the middle order. Dawlat and Hamid’s magic with the ball will be vital for Afghanistan to restrict the Australian batsmen to low scores. The pacers can expect support from spinners Rashid, Nabi and Mujeeb to help them keep the opposition scores low.
Probable XI: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib (c), Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Australia is faced with a unique problem. They have 3 good openers, all of whom are in great form making it difficult for them to choose who gets demoted to bat at number 3 position. The fight is between Khawaja, Finch and Warner. Demoting one of them will be a very difficult call for the side. With uncertainty over Warner’s fitness, the choice for openers could be Finch and Khawaja. Steve Smith may bat at number three. Stoinis and Maxwell will play a vital role in adding a quick few runs in the middle order. The pace department will be managed by Starc, Behrendorff, and Pat Cummins, with Zampa being the lone spinner.
Probable XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Aaron Finch (c), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Hazratullah Zazai – Afghanistan
Aaron Finch – Australia
FANFIGHT FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR AFGHANISTAN vs AUSTRALIA
TV – Star Sports
Match Timings – 18:00 IST; 13:30 local
The prediction is for Australia to win the match.
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