ICC World Cup 2019 – Match 28: IND vs AFG – Afghanistan Predicted Playing XI

ICC World Cup 2019 – Match 28: IND vs AFG – Afghanistan Predicted Playing XI

Even though they are not the favourites to win this game, Afghanistan is expected to put up a good fight.

Najibullah Zadran
Najibullah Zadran. (Photo by Julian Herbert-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Nothing really seems to be going the right way for Afghanistan in World Cup 2019. They might only be playing their second World Cup. But they were expected to put up a tougher fight and try to win games of cricket. The team is at the bottom of the points table with five losses in five games with their biggest defeat of the tournament coming against England in their last game.

Afghanistan will play four more games in the quadrennial event and will face Team India in their next encounter. The ‘Men in Blue’ are in red hot form and are yet to be beaten in the tournament. Things won’t be easy for Afghanistan in this game. Yet, they’ll look to draw inspiration from the Asia Cup 2018 game where they almost won the game against the same opposition.

Here is the Predicted Playing XI for Afghanistan

Openers (Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib (c))

In place of Noor Ali Zadran, Afghanistan might bring in Hazratullah Zazai back into the starting eleven. The two opening spots have been shuffled quite a lot in the tournament so far. Noor has provided the team with decent starts but is unable to convert those into big ones. In the last match against England, he bagged a duck and hence, Zazai might get an opportunity.

Gulbadin Naib decided the open the innings himself in the last game and did a decent job. He played aggressive cricket and came out great mindset and attitude. In his entertaining knock, he scored 37 runs from just 28 balls and hit four fours and a six. Thus, he might continue with the same role in this game as well and is important with the ball as well.

Middle Order (Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Ikram Ali Khil (wk))

Rahmat Shah Afghanistan
Rahmat Shah. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Afghanistan might not tinker much with the middle order. Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi, even though not the most consistent, are great assets to have at number three and four. While they might score runs at a relatively slow pace, they at least do the job and get the team into a good position.

One change the management might fancy, though, is having Shah to keep the wickets and bringing in an additional bowler instead of Ikram Ali Khil. Asghar Afghan will definitely hold on to his place in the eleven. The former skipper looked good in the last game and scored his runs at a good pace. However, it’d have been great had he went on and converted that 44 into a big one.

All Rounders (Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan)

Mohammad Nabi has looked slightly out of sorts so far in the tournament. He hasn’t delivered as per the expectations both with the bat as well as the ball on a consistent basis. Even though there hasn’t been much assistance off the pitch for him with the ball, he must look to bowl tight lines and build the pressure from one end.

With the bat, he should take the onus being the senior player in the team and must look to play sensible cricket. Najibullah is likely to get another opportunity considering the balance he gives to the team. Rashid Khan, after the disastrous outing in the last match, will want to bounce back strong and troublesome of the Indian batsmen in this game.

Bowlers (Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman)

Dawlat Zadran of Afghanistan. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Dawlat Zadran was expensive against England. However, he still picked up three wickets in that high-scoring encounter and did a decent job. Thus, he is expected to get another game. There could be a temptation of bringing one of Aftab Alam or Hamid Hassan into the side.

But Mujeeb Ur Rahman did a fair job and gave away only 44 runs in 10 overs even though the opposition score a mammoth 397 runs. Moreover, he has bowled to a lot of these Indian batsmen in the IPL earlier and understands their plans well. Hence, it would be ideal to persist with him in the team.