Sanjay Manjrekar reckons Afghanistan might look to attack Australia with their spinners in their 2023 World Cup league-stage clash.
The two sides will lock horns at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday, November 7. While the Aussies have 10 points and are placed third in the points table, the Afghans have two fewer points and occupy sixth position in the standings.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Manjrekar was asked about his thoughts on Tuesday's clash, to which he responded:
"They can't take Afghanistan lightly. The match is in Mumbai, red-soil pitch, so some of their wrist spinners will enjoy it. Afghanistan are brilliant in the sense that if they feel spin is their strength, they are going all out with spin, throwing all their eggs in one basket."
The former India batter believes Pat Cummins and company won't take Afghanistan lightly. He elaborated:
"They play four spinners, one genuine pace bowler, and one part-time pacer. It's a team that's interesting, in form and has a lot of self-belief. It will be interesting to see what the result is but Australia, obviously, won't take this opposition lightly."
Afghanistan have fielded Noor Ahmad in their playing XI in just two matches. They have won both those games, with the left-arm wrist-spinner picking up five wickets at an excellent economy rate of 4.21.
"It's a flat batting wicket but their spinners will trouble them" - Mohammad Kaif says Australia vs Afghanistan clash has become 50-50
Mohammad Kaif expects the Afghanistan spinners to trouble the Aussies even on a batting-friendly pitch in Mumbai. He said:
"It's a flat batting wicket but their spinners will trouble them. They have Noor Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Australia are a strong team and are playing well. They lost at the start but have made a comeback in the tournament. You cannot write them off."
The cricketer-turned-commentator feels the two teams are evenly matched heading into the game. He reasoned:
"David Warner has come in fantastic form. However, I will still say that Afghanistan are a good team. They have shown a complete package, whether you talk about batting or bowling. Earlier it was only bowling, now batting has also come in form. That is why this match has become 50-50 for me."
However, Piyush Chawla opined that the scales are tilted towards Australia because the Wankhede pitch does not have any help for the spinners. He picked the five-time champions as 70-30 favorites.
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