GameDay Squad Cricket Match Preview: New Zealand come up against Afghanistan in the 16th match of the ICC Men’s World Cup in Chennai on the 18th of October.
New Zealand played Bangladesh in their third match of the CWC, and New Zealand won by 8 wickets. New Zealand won the toss and elected to field first and they had immediate success after dismissing Das on the first ball of the innings. New Zealand had Bangladesh 56/4 in the 12th over before Al Hasan and Rahim put on 96 runs for the fifth wicket. Bangladesh continued to make mini partnerships on there way to 245/9 at the end of the 50 overs. New Zealand lost Ravindra in the 3rd over when the score was at 12 before Conway and Williamson put on 80 runs for the second wicket. That was the last wicket Bangladesh took as New Zealand cruised through to the target of 246 with 39 balls to spare.
The top performers in GDS for New Zealand were.
Daryl Mitchell – 120 points
Lockie Ferguson – 104 points
Kane Williamson – 96 points
Matt Henry – 82 points
Mitchell Santner – 79 points
Afghanistan played England in their third match of the CWC, and they set the tournament alight with a 69-run win. This has been the biggest upset of the CWC so far. England won the toss and elected to field first and this may have been a bad decision. Afghanistan got off to a terrific start and made it through to 114 in the 17th over before losing their first wicket. Afghanistan continued to lose wickets frequently but battled their way through to a respected 284 all out with only one ball remaining in their innings. Afghanistan was off to a great start with the ball as Farooqi trapped Bairstow LBW on the first ball of the 2nd over. Afghanistan continued to pick up wickets regularly and ended up bowling England all out in the 41st over for 215.
The top performers in GDS for Afghanistan were.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman – 142 points
Rashid Khan – 135 points
Rahmanullah Gurbaz – 104 points
Ikram Alikhil – 81 points
Mohammad Nabi – 80 points
MA Chidambaram Stadium and Pitch Information
A lot of reports indicate that the pitch at MA Chidabaram Stadium is very supportive to spinners. It may support spin compared to many other grounds but when I looked into spin vs seam at this venue, I found out that this might not always be the case. Over the previous 25 ODIs played here, seam bowlers have taken 213 wickets and spin bowlers have taken 132 wickets. We did see India and Australia play here in the 5th match of the CWC and Australia did struggle against the Indian spin attack. The Indian top order found it very challenging against the Australian quicks. We also saw Bangladesh and New Zealand play here in the 11th match of the CWC and the surface didn’t seem to aid the spinners as much on this occasion. Both matches here this CWC have been won by the team batting second. I think both seam and spin bowlers will be able to produce decent fantasy output on this pitch.
New Zealand vs Afghanistan predicted XIs
New Zealand: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson/Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Mark Henry, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Who to play in your GDS starting XI
The three batters that I am likely going to start will be Devon Conway, Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell. Over the last ten matches these players average the following points based on the GDS scoring.
Devon Conway – 74 points
Kane Williamson – 64 points
Daryl Mitchell – 76 points
Conway has been in good form this tournament, averaging 76 runs with the bat. That works out to be an average of 107 points in GDS. He will continue to be a must start for me. Williamson had a great knock after returning from injury but his fitness is questionable ahead of this match. If he starts, he is also a must start. If Williamson doesn’t play, Will Young will be prompted to my starting XI. Mitchell didn’t see much action against England but since then he has looked in good nick and scored 48 vs Netherlands and 89 vs Bangladesh with the bat. Maybe he can reach that century today.
If you don’t have the suggested three players in your squad, I have ranked the remaining batters for New Zealand and Afghanistan in the following order. Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Mark Chapman.
The four all-rounders that I am likely going to start will be Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Mohammad Nabi and Azmatullah Omarzai. Over the last ten matches these players average the following points based on the GDS scoring.
Rachin Ravindra – 77 points
Mitchell Santner – 87 points
Mohammad Nabi – 61 points
Azmatullah Omarzai – 49 points
Ravindra and Santner are the pick of the all-rounders in this match. They have both been great for New Zealand so far this tournament, Ravindra with the bat and Santner with the ball. There are only four players left that can fill in the remaining two all-rounder starting spots in the match. They are Nabi, Omarzai, Phillips and Shah. I have them ranked in that order for this match. I have Omarzai slightly ahead of Phillips as Omarzai has had more of a role for Afghanistan than Phillips has had for New Zealand in the CWC. However, Phillips does hold more appeal if New Zealand does bat first.
If you don’t have the suggested four players in your squad, I have ranked the remaining all-rounders for New Zealand vs Afghanistan in the following order. Glenn Phillips and Rahmat Shah.
The three bowlers that I am likely going to start will be Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Rashid Khan. Over the last ten matches these players average the following points based on the GDS scoring.
Trent Boult – 103 points
Matt Henry – 85 points
Rashid Khan – 76 points
Boult has been underwhelming so far in this tournament and has been overshadowed by Henry. Boult is still New Zealand’s premium fast bowler and if I was to bench him, he would likely turn around and pick up five wickets. Henry has been one of the best seam bowlers in the CWC so far and is an auto pick for me in this match. Selecting the third bowler has been tough and I have gone with Khan over Ferguson and Ur-Rahman. These three bowlers were excellent in their last matches but I’ve gone with Khan to balance my bowling starters and I think he will test the New Zealand batters more so than Ur-Rahman.
If you don’t have the suggested three players in your squad, I have ranked the remaining bowlers for New Zealand vs Afghanistan in the following order. Lockie Ferguson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq.
The wicket keeper that I am likely going to start will be Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Over the last ten matches the wicket keepers from these teams average the following points based on the GDS scoring.
Tom Latham – 40 points
Rahmanullah Gurbaz – 64 points
Ikram Alikhil – 39 points
Gurbaz opens the batting and has a higher chance of scoring runs as Latham and Alikhil bat further down the order. Even though Latham and Alikil are likely to be behind the stumps in this match, it doesn’t seem that keepers are picking up that many points behind the stumps. I would rather play a keeper that is guaranteed to have a bat.