ICC Cricket World Cup: Australia vs Afghanistan - Match preview
The match between the No.1 One-Day International side in the world, Australia, and Afghanistan is expected to be a repeat of the match between India and UAE last Saturday at the WACA, where the defending champions trumped their opposition by nine wickets.
Despite it being against World Cup debutants, Australia need to put up a good show to get their campaign back on track. It's also an opportunity for Australia to test all their weapons.
Shane Watson’s poor run has been the main worry for Australia. At the No. 3 position in the World Cup, he has scores of 0 and 23 and has bowled just three overs. Australia need Watson to fire because he is the one who can bring the balance in the team as a genuine all-rounder.
Australia have one win, one loss and a washed out game to show for their presence in the tournament so far. Mitchell Johnson was sent packing by Brendon McCullum in their last encounter and with him not performing upto his usual standards, Mitchell Starc has taken over the baton of Australia’s main bowler from Johnson. New Zealand simply had no answer to the left-armer’s toe-crashing yorkers as he has now established himself as one of the players to watch out for in this tournament.
The win against Scotland is sure to loom over the heads of the Afghanistan players as they have just begun to make their mark on cricket. Afghanistan’s pace trio of Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran and Hamid Hassan have been in top-notch form. Traditionally WACA is known to be a bowler’s paradise which offers plenty of pace and bounce. If the Afghanistan’s pace trio can find the right rhythm, we could possibly witness one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.
Michael Clarke (c), George Bailey, David Warner, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Faulkner.
Mohammad Nabi (c), Afsar Zazai (wk), Aftab Alam, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Javed Ahmadi, Mirwais Ashraf, Najibullah Zadran, Nasir Jamal, Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran, Usman Ghani.