Serene with their progress so far, England will hope the injuries don’t hit them hard when they take on Afghanistan in the 2019 ICC World Cup. This match # 24 will be played in Manchester on Tuesday.
England start this match fourth in the points tally with six points from four games. Afghanistan are yet to open their account, losing all four. The same pitch used for India vs Pakistan on Sunday will be used. There should be turn for wrist spinners on both sides and hopefully, rain stays away too.
The hosts have been the ‘form team’ of the tournament. Despite their loss to Pakistan, England have managed to control the proceedings in every other game. Although there are fitness worries to comprehend, they should take full points here.
Jason Roy’s absence because of a hamstring tear opens up a place for James Vince. Eoin Morgan with back spasms and Liam Plunkett with a stomach bug remain doubtful. However, both should feature in the match.
There has been nothing in Afghanistan’s performance in the tournament so far. Devoid of their usual fighting spirit, Afghanistan look lost in the middle. Dogged starts with the bat aren’t helping and so is their inability to speed up in the middle overs.
There are murmurs about dressing room unquiet as well. Sadly for the Afghans, their superstar Rashid Khan hasn’t yet fired in the right earnest. With the pitch set to take turn, they could be tempted to slot back Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Jonny Bairstow has scores of 32, 51 and 45 after starting the tournament with a zero. Now with his partner out of action, he could be looking to press on.
Joe Root has been brilliant for England this tournament. He has 279 runs to his name, including two centuries. He has also chipped in with two wickets in the previous game. Even against Afghanistan in the practice match, Root picked up three scalps.
Mohammad Nabi has been the standout player for Afghanistan with four wickets @ ER of 4.41 so far. He will look to make use of the spinning conditions.
England will slot Vince for Roy.
England: 1 Jonny Bairstow 2 James Vince 3 Joe Root 4 Eoin Morgan (C) 5 Ben Stokes 6 Jos Buttler (WK) 7 Chris Woakes 8 Liam Plunkett 9 Jofra Archer 10 Moeen Ali 11 Adil Rashid
Mujeeb could be back for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan: 1 Hazratullah Zazai 2 Noor Ali Zadran 3 Rahmat Shah 4 Hashmatullah Shahidi 5 Gulbadin Naib (C) 6 Najibullah Zadran 7 Mohammad Nabi 8 Ikram Ali Khil (WK) 9 Rashid Khan 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman 11 Hamid Hassan
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