GameDay Squad Cricket Match Preview: Afghanistan come up against Australia in the 39th match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in Mumbai on the 7th of November.
Afghanistan played Netherlands in their seventh match of the CWC, and Afghanistan won by 7 wickets. Netherlands won the toss and elected to bat first. Afghanistan was off to a great start with the ball as they dismissed Barresi in the first over. The Dutch pair of O’Dowd and Ackermann fought back and took the score through to 73 before O’Dowd was run out. Afghanistan was superb in the field and took a further three runouts as the Netherlands struggled to 179 all out in the 47th over. Afghanistan started well with the bat but lost the wicket of Gurbaz with the score at 27 in the 6th over. Zadran was dismissed shortly after but Shah and Shahidi steered Afghanistan into a commanding position. Shah was dismissed with the score at 129 in the 23rd over before Shahidi and Omarzai took Afghanistan through to the target of 180 in the 32nd over.
The top performers in GDS for Afghanistan were.
Mohammad Nabi – 132 points
Noor Ahmad – 73 points
Hashmatullah Shahidi – 70 points
Rahmat Shah – 68 points
Azmatullah Omarzai – 63 points
Australia played England in their seventh match of the CWC, and Australia won by 33 runs. England won the toss and elected to field first. Head was unable to back up his outstanding innings against New Zealand and was dismissed for 11 in the 2nd over. Warner joined him back in the pavilion shortly after but Smith and Labuschagne put the Australian innings back on track. England bowled well at times and managed to bowl Australia all out for 286 in the 50th over. Starc had Australia off to a cracking start as he dismissed Bairstow for a royal golden duck on the first ball of the innings. Root also fell to Starc in the 5th over and England were in early trouble at 19/2. Malan and Stokes showed some fight before Malan was dismissed with the score at 103 in the 23rd over. Australia continued to take wickets regularly and ended up bowling England all out for 253 in the 49th over.
The top performers in GDS for Australia were.
Adam Zampa – 144 points
Pat Cummins – 98 points
Josh Hazlewood – 88 points
Marcus Stoinis – 82 points
Mitchell Starc – 75 points
Wankhede Stadium & Pitch Information
Over the last eight matches the average first innings score has been 314 while the highest target chased is 281. The pitch has been great for batting in recent times. In this CWC, South Africa showed us how good it is to bat on with scores of 399 against England and 382 against Bangladesh. India also scored 357 against Sri Lanka a few days ago. Teams have favoured bowling first in recent times but that may change after what we have seen at this ground during the CWC. Temperatures are set to be around 35 degrees today and I’m expecting the team winning the toss to bat first.
Afghanistan vs Australia predicted XIs
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq/Noor Ahmad and Fazalhaq Farooqi
Australia: David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith/Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Who to play in your GDS starting XI
The three batters that I am likely going to start will be David Warner, Travis Head and Steven Smith. Over the CWC these batters average the following points in GDS.
David Warner – 87 points
Travis Head – 91 points
Steven Smith – 35 points
In GDS there are seven players combined from Afghanistan and Australia that have the batter position designation. Five of these seven players are predicted to play, two from Afghanistan and three from Australia. Warner and Head are my first two batsmen picked even though they misfired against England. It sounds like this pitch will have a lot of runs in it and with both players hitting centuries recently, I’ll be starting both. Even though Zadran and Shahidi have been in better form than Smith throughout the CWC, I still believe Smith is world class and is due for a big score soon. However, Smith has been suffering from vertigo over the last couple of days but is likely to be available for this match. If he’s out, Shahidi will come into my team.
If you don’t have the suggested players in your squad, I have ranked the remaining batters for Afghanistan and Australia in the following order. Hashmatullah Shahidi and Ibrahim Zadran.
The four all-rounders that I am likely going to start will be Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell. Over the CWC these all-rounders average the following points in GDS.
Azmatullah Omarzai – 70 points
Mohammad Nabi – 61 points
Mitchell Marsh – 58 points
Glenn Maxwell – 84 points
In GDS there are eight players combined from Afghanistan and Australia that have the all-rounder position designation. Six of these eight players are predicted to play, three from both Afghanistan and Australia. I tend to favour all-rounders that bowl more as they generally score higher due to dot balls being worth one point in GDS. I’m expecting all the suggested all-rounders to bowl more than most of the other all-rounders that are predicted to play. Even though Marsh hasn’t bowled much this CWC, I have him ranked above Shah and Stoinis for this match. On this pitch, I believe Marsh offers a higher ceiling as he is likely to come in at first drop and I’m expecting a few overs out of him.
If you don’t have the suggested players in your squad, I have ranked the remaining all-rounders for Afghanistan and Australia in the following order. Marcus Stoinis and Rahmat Shah.
The three bowlers that I am likely going to start will be Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa. Over the CWC these bowlers average the following points in GDS.
Pat Cummins – 74 points
Mitchell Starc – 67 points
Adam Zampa – 91 points
In GDS there are ten players combined from Afghanistan and Australia that have the bowler position designation. Eight of these ten players are predicted to play, four from both Afghanistan and Australia. Zampa is the pick of the bowlers for me in this match. He has taken 19 wickets and this the second most by anyone in the CWC, only Madushanka is in front of him with 21. However, 47 wickets at this ground have fallen to bowlers this CWC and only 7 have gone to the spinners. Also, Afghanistan have lost 44 wickets to bowlers and 28 of them have been to seam bowlers. Knowing this, Zampa could be a fade and the Australian quicks may be more favourable options. I’ll still be starting Zampa as I believe his form outweighs the above CWC stats on this ground and Afghanistan.
Starc is usually an auto pick for me but over the last four matches Australia have played, he’s been outperformed by Cummins and Hazlewood. As it seems that Afghanistan struggle with seam bowlers on Indian pitches, I’ll be starting Starc as he will be up there with the quickest they have faced. It’s a coin flip between Cummins and Hazlewood for the third spot but I lean towards Cummins. Only because he has outperformed Hazlewood in six of the seven games this CWC.
If you don’t have the suggested players in your squad, I have ranked the remaining bowlers for Afghanistan and Australia in the following order. Josh Hazlewood, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq/Noor Ahmad.
The wicket keeper that I am likely going to start will be Josh Inglis. Over the CWC these wicket keepers average the following points in GDS.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz – 45 points
Ikram Alikhil – 31 points
Josh Inglis – 42 points
Selecting the keeper in this match is all dependent on which team bats first. If Australia bat first, Inglis is a lock. If Afghanistan bat first, I’ll probably start Alikhil. This is due to me not liking the match up for Gurbaz against the Australian quicks at the top of the order and him not being behind the stumps for Afghanistan. I even have Alikhil ahead of Inglis as who knows how much is required of Inglis with the bat if Australia bat second.
If you don’t have the suggested player in your squad, I have ranked the remaining wicket keepers for Afghanistan and Australia in the following order. Ikram Alikhil and Rahmanullah Gurbaz.