World Cup 2015 Match 26 Group A Preview: Australia vs Afghanistan

World Cup 2015 Match 26 Group A Preview: Australia vs Afghanistan

World Cup 2015 Match 26 Group A Preview: Australia vs Afghanistan:

Date: 4 March 2015        Time: 1200 IST
Venue:  Perth

Australia
Australia came very close to beating New Zealand in a very tightly fought match at Auckland. Despite making just 151 and surviving the McCullum storm at the start, Australia came back into the game thanks to Mitchell Starc’s 6/28, who took some important wickets at important times.
They will be very happy to play at home and that too on the fastest pitch in cricket at WACA, Perth. Their batsmen will look to have some batting practice in the middle before they face the likes of Sri Lanka in the games to come ahead. David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith and Michael Clarke would like to get batting practice as they were bowled out very early against New Zealand. While their bowlers are in top form, Australia might try some bench strength in their bowling department. Also James Faulkner, who was injured, will get a chance to prove his fitness in the match.

Afghanistan
Afghanistan has a very steep uphill task in front of them. They have played on the slow pitches of New Zealand so far and now they have been thrown into the deep end at Perth and that too against the pace bowling battery of Australia. Afghanistan batsmen will face the fastest bowling they have ever seen in Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Pat Cummins. Their batsmen have been in good touch and players like Samiullah Shenwari, Mohd. Nabi, Asgahr Stanikzai and Nawroz Mangal will like the bounce and pace so that they can use the pace to score runs. As always, their batting will revolve around Shenwari and Stanikzai.
Afghan bowlers Shapoor Zadran, Hamid Hassan and Dawlat Zadran will love bowling on the WACA wicket as they all have the bowling styles suitable for such pitch. They might go in with one more quick bowler or try to strangle Australian batting with spinners. Spin and bounce might make the Australians uncomfortable. But if Australia bat first, Afghanistan can easily look at a total nearing 400.

Last 5 ODIs:
AFG: L L L W L
AUS: L NR W W NR

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.

Aus:  Aaron Finch, David Warner, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke(C), Glen Maxwell, Brad Haddin (WK), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, James Faulkner