ICC World Cup 2019 – Match 7: AFG vs SL – Afghanistan Predicted Playing XI

ICC World Cup 2019 – Match 7: AFG vs SL – Afghanistan Predicted Playing XI

Afghanistan has got a wonderful chance of winning the next game and they'd want to leave no stone unturned as far as their playing eleven is concerned.

Afghanistan players
Afghanistan players. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

It wasn’t particularly a competitive day at the World Cup when Afghanistan met Australia in their last encounter. Despite putting up a great fight, Afghanistan was always short of runs with the bat in this match. While the result of this game was a certainty, there are several positives that the Afghans could draw from this encounter.

Skipper Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah Zadran took the attack to the bowlers after they were pushed onto the back foot early in the game. The bowlers weren’t to throw the towel in easily and made Australia work hard for this win. To chase 208 runs, the Kangaroos took 34.5 overs and Afghanistan did well to take the game so deep. They will take on Sri Lanka in their next encounter and will look to get a win under their belt this time around.

Here is the Predicted Playing XI for Afghanistan:

Openers (Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Hazratullah Zazai)

Mohammad Shahzad
Mohammad Shahzad. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It was a terrible start to the World Cup 2019 for both Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai. The least you would expect at the start of such a tournament is both your opening bagging ducks. However, this bad performance could motivate them to make up in the next game and play well.

Hazratullah Zazai is naturally aggressive with his approach. But it is important for him to be choosy with his shots. He can make up for the dot balls as he is capable of getting the big shots out at will. If Mohammad Shahzad and he can lay the platform with a good, aggressive start, Afghanistan can build from there on and get into a commanding position.

Middle Order (Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi)

Hashmatullah Shahidi
Hashmatullah Shahidi. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Rahmat Shah has been one of the most consistent performers for Afghanistan. In the last five innings that he played, he scored 239 runs at an average of 48. However, he needs to focus on strike rotation so that his strike rates are improved. There can’t be too many balls consumed during the middle overs which puts the lower order in pressure later on.

Hashmatullah Shahidi is another important member in the Afghanistan middle order. In the game against Australia, he scored 18 runs off 34 balls and hit three fours in his innings. But, since he consumed too many deliveries, there was pressure on him to score some quick runs and thus tried to dance down the track. However, he couldn’t make contact with the ball and was stumped out. Just like Shah, even Shahidi should look to rotate the strike more often.

All Rounders (Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib (c), Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan)

Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi
Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Mohammad Nabi has had tough times in the last few games that he played. There is a scope of improvement both with his batting as well as bowling. Being the senior-most member of this team, he should take the onus with the willow and consistently get big runs. With the opposition having quite a few left-handers, his role with the ball will also be important.

Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah Zadran played exemplary knocks in the last game. The other players have got to take a cue out of their book and try to replicate similar efforts. Rashid Khan also played a valuable cameo down the order helping his team get past 200 runs. However, Naib and Rashid struggled a little bit with the ball and were slightly expensive. They should look to bowl tighter lines and lengths.

Bowlers (Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hamid Hassan)

Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Mujeeb Ur Rahman.(Photo Source: Getty Images)

Dawlat Zadran will hold onto his spot in the eleven. It is tough to judge only considering his performance in the last game where he conceded 32 runs off 5 overs. He is likely to be given another opportunity. Hamid Hassan was excellent against Australia. He bowled a good pace and hit great areas.

In six overs, he conceded only 15 runs and bowled two maidens while most of the other bowlers were quite expensive. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, on the other hand, disappointed a little bit. He was very expensive and gave away 45 runs in just 4.5 overs. While there is a possibility that he might get another chance, the possibility of him being replaced with Aftab Alam can’t be ruled out.