ICC World Cup 2019 – Match 13: AFG vs NZ – New Zealand Predicted Playing XI

ICC World Cup 2019 – Match 13: AFG vs NZ – New Zealand Predicted Playing XI

New Zealand eye a third consecutive win this World Cup.

Matt Henry
Matt Henry. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

With two wins in two games, New Zealand has managed to maintain a hundred per cent win record in World Cup 2019 thus far. While the win against Sri Lanka was a cakewalk for them, the team managed to clinch a victory from the jaws of the Bangla Tigers a couple of days ago. As they eye a third consecutive win, they gear up for the game against Afghanistan at Taunton.

The pitch here at this venue is an absolute batting paradise. Thus, the New Zealand batsmen will look to go all guns blazing. However, they’ll have to be wary of the threat from the Afghanistan spinners. The team didn’t look comfortable against spin when they faced Bangladesh. But in all likelihood, they go into this game as the favourites and will look to have another win under their belt.

Here is the Predicted Playing XI for New Zealand:

Openers (Martin Guptill, Colin Munro)

Martin Guptill
Martin Guptill. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Every time he’s walked out to bat this tournament, Martin Guptill seemed to be in an excellent mindset, absolutely clutter-free. He tried to attack the bowlers and had no second thoughts about his approach. While it had paid rich dividends in the first game, he couldn’t really make it big against Bangladesh. Yet, that seems to be the role assigned to him and he will look to continue to play that way.

Since Guptill is going after the bowlers right from the first ball, Colin Munro has had the freedom to eat up a few deliveries at the start in both the last two games. He should look to use this liberty and should hold one end up tight. Munro can take occasional risks and must consistently get good scores.

Middle Order (Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk))

The biggest threat from the opposition is Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi with the ball. However, Kane Williamson has captained both of them in the IPL. He has been around with SRH for quite a while now and must have faced a lot of the Rashid-Nabi combo at the nets. Hence, his inputs and performance will be the key for his team as they head into this fixture. He didn’t seem comfortable in the last game.

But on a good batting track, he’d like to make the opportunity count. Ross Taylor, on the other hand, has been excellent and was also the ‘Man of the Match’ against Bangladesh. The number four batsman has fit into his role well and should look to carry the momentum forward. Meanwhile, Tom Latham will be hoping for a change of fortunes in the upcoming game. He has got to do well against the spinners if he is to play long innings.

All Rounders (James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner)

Mitchell Santner
Mitchell Santner. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It was massively disappointing to see the way James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme got out in the last game. Rather than looking to play risk-free cricket under pressure, they tried playing ambitious shots leaving the team in all sorts of trouble. Had New Zealand not won this game, these two would have surely regretted their shot selection. There is no scope of complacency when they face Afghanistan.

Both these players have got to be at their complete best and must take the onus with the bat in the pressure situations. They’ve been doing a good job with the ball. Mitchell Santner has possibly cemented his place in the side further after the heroics in the last match. The southpaw picked up one wicket and took his team over the line in the chase in a high-pressure situation.

Bowlers (Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult)

Matt Henry
Matt Henry. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Matt Henry, particularly, has been unstoppable thus far in the two games. He followed up his three-wicket haul against Sri Lanka with a four-for against Bangladesh. He is extremely quick and might trouble most of the Afghanistan batsmen. Blackcaps will hope that he will pull off a similar performance in the next game as well.

Just like Henry, Ferguson has also been hitting great speeds. He has also been amongst the wickets in the first two games and will look to maintain a similar intensity. Trent Boult will look to test the technique of the Afghanistan batsmen with his swing in the next game. If he manages to pick two or three wickets early on, that would be nearly half of the job done for his team.