In the 24th match of the exciting World Cup 2019 extravaganza, hosts England will be taking the field against Afghanistan at the Old Trafford in Manchester on June 18, Tuesday. Both the teams are coming into this match after witnessing contrasting results being unfold in their respective previous outings. England defeated the Windies team in a convincing fashion, while Afghanistan suffered a disappointing beating at the hands of South Africa in their previous match. There is quite a distance in both the team’s standings on the points table as England are placed at the fourth spot, while Afghanistan are languishing at the bottom.
All teams have been trying to figure out how the current England side can be broken down, as of now in the tournament only Pakistan did that job with a tinge of luck on their favour. If they bat first, they place a mountain to climb and if they bat second, any total seems gettable, in simple, they seem invincible.
Of all the current teams in the ongoing World Cup, going by recent form, Afghanistan is the last team anyone would want to bet on to beat this stellar juggernaut. With due respect to the Asian side, the hosts are just too strong for most teams and it is something no one can hide from.
Gulbadin Naib and his troops are hitting new lows with every passing game and it seems likely that they might not win even a single game. All they can do is a bank on their strengths, which is their bowling attack and expect for things to work in their favour. As it stands, it doesn’t seem like they will be garnering a positive result from this game.
England’s likely Playing XI
The Three Lions have a couple of injury concerns. Jason Roy pulled his hamstring and he didn’t bat in the last game. He has been ruled out of the next two matches and James Vince comes in his place being the backup opener. There are also doubts over the fitness of Eoin Morgan, who has a back spasm. He has a 50-50 chance of playing the game. Moeen Ali didn’t play the last match and he may be roped in if Morgan doesn’t play.
Jonny Bairstow has started showing signs of his ominous self. Joe Root is also in tremendous form, having already scored a couple of centuries. Ben Stokes remains a crucial member of the side as well. Jos Buttler’s role will be crucial as he’ll lead the team, provided Morgan doesn’t make the cut. Leggie Adil Rashid needs to pull his socks up as he has conceded runs at 101.50 and got only two wickets.
Probable XI: James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c)/Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.
Afghanistan’s likely Playing XI
The Afghans may bring back Najibullah Zadran, their leading run-scorer of the tournament thus far. The southpaw, in that case, would replace former captain Asghar Afghan, who got out for a five-ball duck versus the Proteas. The experienced Noor Ali Zadran has got a couple of decent knocks under his belt and he’ll be keen to convert his starts. Hazratullah Zazai also needs to be a little more consistent.
Rahmat Shah has to arrest his slump after scoring eight in his last three innings. Mohammad Nabi had one good match with the ball, picking up four wickets. Apart from that, he hasn’t been able to deliver. Skipper Gulbadin Naib has been dismal as well from all departments. On what seems to be a turning track, Rashid’s role will be critical. Hassan, Alam, and Dawlat have to perform as well.
Probable XI: Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan/Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Gulbadin Naib (c), Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan.
Match Timings- 3:00 pm IST and 10:30 local
Broadcast Details- Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD.
Live Ball by Ball Commentary: AFGHANISTAN VS ENGLAND
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