High-flying Afghanistan flip their focus from 2019 champs to runners-up

Big Picture: Two groups on a excessive face off

The 2019 World Cup champions have been taken down. Time for the runners-up subsequent?

Afghanistan gamers have repeatedly referred to as India their second residence. At varied factors, they’ve had their base arrange at Indian venues like Dehradun, Lucknow and Greater Noida, the place they performed their “home games”. IPL regulars Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have all the time been a crowd favorite, whereas Naveen-ul-Haq retains the excitement going.
Which is why there was real pleasure among the many Delhi crowd when Afghanistan served defending champions England a 69-run thrashing on Sunday. It was solely Afghanistan’s second-ever win in an ODI World Cup sport in 18 makes an attempt and their first since 2015.
However, even with the boldness of a giant win beneath their belt, Afghanistan know they’ve their work lower out as they run into red-hot New Zealand in Chennai. Unbeaten to this point within the event – three wins out of three – New Zealand appear to have all of the items of the puzzle in place. But the Chennai floor might show to be a possible banana peel towards the spin trio of Rashid, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Nabi. The three spinners lead the wicket-taking checklist for Afghanistan within the World Cup to this point and can hope for extra success on a pitch which is predicted to show.
Afghanistan’s greatest concern stays their over-reliance on the highest three of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah. In ODIs for the reason that begin of 2021, the trio has accounted for 52.79% of the whole runs that Afghanistan have scored. Among all Full Members nations, their center order (Nos. 4 to 7) has the lowest common: 26.00.

This was on show within the sport towards England as nicely the place Afghanistan collapsed from 114 for 0 to 190 for six earlier than the decrease order bailed them out. The likes of Hashmatullah Shahidi, Azmatullah Omarzai and Nabi might want to step up and fast.

New Zealand have far fewer issues. They come into this sport on a five-match profitable streak, having received every of those video games somewhat convincingly. Their high order has fired in each sport whereas the bowling unit appears well-rounded. Of course, Kane Williamson’s “undisplaced fracture” to his left thumb is perhaps a trigger for concern for them, particularly given the character of this Chennai pitch, however Tom Latham has confirmed to be an efficient chief in his absence.

New Zealand is perhaps on a excessive, however they cannot afford to be complacent towards a aspect that appears to have lastly discovered its mojo.

Form information: New Zealand on a roll

Afghanistan WLLLL (final 5 accomplished matches, most up-to-date first)
New Zealand WWWWW

In the highlight: Mitchell Santner and Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Mitchell Santner has turned his 2023 the wrong way up and the way! Coming into the World Cup, Santner had solely 4 wickets in seven ODIs at a median of 80.25 and economic system of 5.24 in 2023. Three matches into the event, he has already doubled that tally and is presently the joint-leading wicket-taker alongside Jasprit Bumrah and Matt Henry with eight scalps at 15.87. He’s been glorious together with his tempo variations and has tied the batters down within the powerplay. Chepauk is like residence away from residence for Santner. He has been with the Chennai Super Kings squad within the IPL since 2019 and can need to put up one other strong present on “home” territory.

Team news: Who is available in for Williamson?

With Williamson out injured for some time, Will Young is the probably candidate to take his place within the New Zealand XI. He is more likely to slot again into the opening place, with Rachin Ravindra anticipated to maneuver to the No. 3 spot. Tom Latham will lead the aspect as soon as extra.

New Zealand (possible): 1 Devon Conway, 2 Will Young, 3 Rachin Ravindra, 4 Tom Latham (capt, wk), 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 Mark Chapman, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Mark Henry, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult

Afghanistan are unlikely to make any adjustments to the taking part in XI that beat England convincingly.

Afghanistan (possible): 1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz, 2 Ibrahim Zadran, 3 Rahmat Shah, 4 Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), 5 Azmatullah Omarzai, 6 Mohammad Nabi, 7 Ikram Alikhil (wk), 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 10 Naveen-ul-Haq, 11 Fazalhaq Farooqi

Pitch and situations: Turner in Chepauk?

The first sport of the World Cup in Chennai, between India and Australia, was performed on black-soil turner, however the second sport had quite a bit in it for the quick bowlers. Historically, surfaces in Chennai have aided spin and that’s more likely to be the case on Wednesday as nicely.

There was a slight drizzle in Chennai on the eve of the sport, however the forecast is clearer on match day.

“See Rahmanullah [Gurbaz] is one of the players in our team who is I believe a match-winner player. He can change the game anytime.”
Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi exudes confidence in his opener

Source web site: www.espncricinfo.com

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