Afghanistan vs New Zealand Preview: TSR presents Probable Playing 11,Toss prediction and Weather report for Match 13 of Cricket World Cup 2019
After an action-packed first week of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, we head towards the third match of Week 2, and it’s Afghanistan, who will be up against the experienced New Zealand side at The Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton.
While New Zealand have got off to a brilliant start to their World Cup campaign by winning both the matches, Afghanistan haven’t yet sprung a surprise, which they are very much capable of. They have lost both their opening World Cup matches so far.
While New Zealand won against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Afghanistan bowed down to Australia and Sri Lanka. Saturday’s venue will be a new one for both the teams, as no matches in this World Cup have been played here so far.
Afghanistan vs New Zealand Preview
Afghanistan has struggled. They are yet to win their first World Cup match against a Full-member team. The only side they have beaten in eight previous games so far was Scotland in 2015.
While their 7-wicket drubbing against the Aussies was on expected lines, they lacked the required temperament against the Sri Lankans, as they snatched loss from the jaws of victory in their 34-run loss. Their bowling was top-notch in the previous match against the Lankans, but it is their batting performances in both the aforementioned matches that has led them down. The opening pair have led them down on both the occasions, thereby pushing them to the back foot early on. One of them- Hazratullah Zazai, looked good with his 25 ball 30 against Sri Lanka, but his aggressive brand of Cricket makes him quite vulnerable at the top.
In the bowling front, dominated by 3 experienced spinners have not yet fired as yet. Finger-spinner Mujeeb-ur- Rahman has not found his Mojo yet, and continues to bowl expensively. On the other hand, their go-to man- Rashid Khan has not been amongst the wickets, although he hasn’t been expensive either. Mohammad Nabi, was the star with the ball the other day against Sri Lanka, as he had put the Afghan in a winning position by picking up 3 key wickets in a single over.
New Zealand, on the other hand were the first team to win back-to-back games at this tournament. Their Top 4 batters- Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, skipper Kane Williamson, and the veteran batsmen Ross Taylor are all going through a purple patch with the bat. The middle-order however, revealed their vulnerable side against Bangladesh as they suffered a collapse in their last game which would might well have costed them the match.
☔️ A bit of rain about so we’re indoors today. Thanks to @KingsTaunton for having us. The @KCTSport students are very lucky – super facilities! 🏏😃 #BACKTHEBLACKCAPS #CWC19 #cricket #specialbuscargo pic.twitter.com/qs0z1Uvp95
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) June 7, 2019
In the bowling department, pacer Matt Henry has made full use of the opportunity which came his way due to the absence of injured Tim Southee. He has taken 7 wickets in the two World Cup matches so far. The other seamers- Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson have also had good games so far with the ball. All-in-all, they have all their bases covered at the moment.
Afghanistan vs New Zealand – Probable Playing 11
The wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shehzad has been ruled out of the ongoing World Cup due to a sustained knee injury. Thus, the newly inducted left handed wicket-keeper batsman Ikram Alikhil would be his man-to-man replacement. The veteran Afghanistan batsman and former captain has been rested in two consecutive matches, the reason of which is still not clear.
On the other hand, middle-order batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi has been off-colour with scores of 18 and 4 in the two matches so far, Asghar Afghan should act as his replacement, unless they wish to give Shahidi another go.
The bowling department is most likely expected to stay unchanged.
For the Kiwis, it is only their middle order which showed some nerves in their 2 wicket win against Bangladesh. There shouldn’t be any changes in the batting order.
In the bowling front, it is still unclear if Tim Southee has recovered with his calf muscle injury. In case he has regained his full fitness, he might be replaced by Lockie Ferguson, courtesy his experience.
Afghanistan Playing 11
Ikram Alikhil (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan/ Hashmatullah Shahidi, Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
New Zealand Playing 11
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (Wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson/ Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.
Afghanistan vs New Zealand – Pitch and Weather Condition
With only 3 ODIs played at Taunton so far, this deck is yet another belter for the batsmen, alike the one at Nottingham. The average first innings score here is 312. The last ODI played at this venue was way back in 1999, when India posted 373/6 against Sri Lanka, where Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly scored 145 and 183 runs respectively.
With only 20% chances of rain, the rain Gods might go doze off tomorrow at Taunton. The temperature will linger around 16 degrees Celsius, with a partly cloudy whether.
Although the conditions here might be overcast on Saturday, with the predicted run-fest on offer, teams might well like to pile up the runs on the board and look to defend them.
Where would the match telecast?
The clash between the two sides will be broadcast live on the Star Sports network and Hotstar, and will commence from 06:00 IST.