World Cup 2015 Group A Match 31 New Zealand vs Afghanistan Preview

World Cup 2015 Group A Match 31 New Zealand vs Afghanistan Preview

World Cup 2015 Group A Match 31 New Zealand vs Afghanistan Preview:

Date: 08 March 2015          Time: 0330 IST
Venue: Napier

New Zealand

The Kiwis had a very close shave against the Australians and they went past the finish line thanks to Kane Williamson. Well they have enough confidence and form to face Afghanistan up next. All of their batsmen and bowlers are in top form and McCullum could give some rest to their key players like Vettori, Milne, Elliot and Southee to bring in the some fresh blood in the team.

New Zealand batting is at its peak with Captain Brendon McCullum leading the way and Kane Williamson backing him up. They would however like Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Grant Elliot to have a better batting practice against Afghanistan. They will look to bat first if they win the toss and win the match by a big margin to have enough comfort cushions to stay at the top of the table.

Kiwis can bring in Nathan McCullum to give some rest to Vettori and bring in Mitchell McClenaghan to give rest to Corey Anderson to keep them fit and fresh for the knockout stages. Otherwise they are fit and raring to against Afghanistan.


Afghanistan team was taken to cleaners in their last match against Australia. Australia scored a World Cup record 417/6 with David Warner, Glen Maxwell and Steven Smith making merry of a pedestrian bowling effort from Afghanistan. They clearly failed in their big test against the most dominating team in their group. Afghanistan had run Sri Lanka close in their encounter, but against Australia they surrendered completely.

They need their bowling to come through as it is their strong suit. But against a rampaging Brendon McCullum and an in-form Kane Williamson and on a small ground like Napier, another score of 400 plus is on cards. Afghanistan can only hope that they win the toss and bat first to put up a respectable score on the board. They will need all the help from their in-form batsmen like Stanikzai, Mangal, Shenwari to stand up to the Kiwi pace attack and the spin threat of Daniel Vettori. Their total surrender against Australia undid all the good work they had done until now.

The Afghan bowlers should put the harrowing experience of the Australia match behind them and look forward to putting up a good performance against New Zealand.

Last 5 ODIs:
NZ:  W W W W L

Possible playing XI:
Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (c), Afsar Zazai (wk), Aftab Alam, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Najibullah Zadran, Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran, Hamid Hassan.

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (C), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Luke Ronchi (WK), Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson.