Afghanistan will face Australia in their penultimate league phase match of the Cricket World Cup 2023 on Tuesday, November 7. The fixture is set to take place at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, commencing at 2:00 PM IST. The Afghanistan cricket team has exceeded expectations with some eye-catching performances so far. With four wins out of seven matches, they now have an outside chance to qualify for the semi-finals. In their previous outing, they registered their third consecutive victory in the competition with a seven-wicket win over Netherlands.
Mohammad Nabi (3/28) and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (56* off 64) excelled with the ball and bat, respectively.
Ahead of their match against Australia, the Afghans are unlikely to experiment with their winning combination and go in with the same starting lineup from the last contest.
Openers: Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Afghanistan’s opener, has been among their standout performers in the Cricket World Cup 2023. Accumulating 234 runs at an average of 33.42, including two half-centuries, his aggressive style and ability to build partnerships have been crucial.
Ibrahim Zadran, Gurbaz’s opening partner, has displayed impressive form in the ongoing tournament. With 232 runs at an average of 33.14, he has been a reliable contributor. Zadran’s ability to handle pressure situations has been pivotal for Afghanistan’s batting lineup.
Middle order: Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Ikram Alikhil
Rahmat Shah has been consistent in the Cricket World Cup 2023, amassing 264 runs at an average of 44.00. His calm and composed innings have provided stability in the middle order, anchoring Afghanistan’s batting lineup effectively.
Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afghanistan’s middle-order batter, has contributed significantly, scoring 282 runs in seven innings at a staggering average of 70.50. His ability to build partnerships and accelerate when required has been crucial, making him a valuable asset for Afghanistan.
Wicket-keeper batter Ikram Alikhil announced his arrival with a mature 58-run knock in the famous win over defending champions England earlier in the competition. Alikhil has been effective behind the stumps and has accounted for four catches and a stumping in five matches that he has featured in.
All-rounders: Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan
Azmatullah Omarzai has proved to be Afghanistan’s most important all-rounder in this campaign. The 23-year-old has played every match thus far, having registered 234 runs alongside five wickets.
Mohammad Nabi’s experience has played an instrumental role in Afghanistan’s superb run in the Cricket World Cup 2023. The all-rounder has taken six wickets in seven matches to go with 41 runs in four innings.
Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s all-time leading wicket-taker in ODIs, has claimed seven wickets in as many matches so far, at a respectable economy of 4.61. Even though he has got limited chances with the bat in this tournament, the right-hander can add vital runs down the order.
Bowlers: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been used in powerplay overs throughout the tournament and has returned with seven wickets. The onus will be on him to provide early breakthroughs against an in-form Australian batting line-up.
Noor Ahmad, Afghanistan’s young spinner, has impressed in the Cricket World Cup 2023, claiming five wickets in just two matches. His deceptive flight and accurate lengths have posed challenges for opposition batters, making him a promising prospect for Afghanistan’s bowling unit.
Fazalhaq Farooqi has been a valuable contributor to Afghanistan’s bowling prowess, securing six wickets at an economy of 5.70. His ability to generate pace and extract bounce from the pitch has made him a reliable wicket-taker, providing vital breakthroughs for his team.
Afghanistan’s Predicted Playing XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi
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