World Cup 2019, ENG v AFG - Predicted playing 11 and key players for England
A possible mismatch could be on the cards in the 2019 Cricket World Cup when England take on Afghanistan at Old Trafford, Manchester on 18th June. However, Afghanistan will look to prove everyone wrong at a ground which could provide a lot of help to their spinners.
As expected, England have been in top form through the first phase of the World Cup with the exception of the game against Pakistan. The team is coming off two massive wins against Bangladesh and West Indies. However, they suffered some bad news regarding the fitness of some key players.
Star opening batsman Jason Roy has been ruled out for at least 2 matches while skipper Eoin Morgan's appearance in the match will be a touch and go scenario. These injury issues could necessitate some changes in England's playing 11.
So, let's have a look at England's predicted playing 11 for the game against Afghanistan.
James Vince, Jonny Bairstow
James Vince is expected to replace Jason Roy in the line up. Roy suffered a torn hamstring during the game against West Indies. Partering Vince, Bairstow will look to continue his get his first big score of the World Cup. He has looked in good touch but has failed to convert his starts in all of his three previous matches.
Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler
Joe Root has been in superb form through the first phase of the World Cup. Root already has two hundreds to his name in the tournament. With skipper Eoin Morgan suffering back spasm in the previous match, England will not look to risk him in their match against Afghanistan. Moeen Ali is expected to come into the team and take a spot in the middle order. One of the world's best limited overs, Jos Buttler will look to display his usual fireworks if the need arises.
Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes
Ben Stokes hasn't had a great time with the bat after the opening game against South Africa. As a result, Stokes might get a promotion against Afghanistan. Chris Woakes has also had an average start to the World Cup. Woakes got promoted in the batting order in the previous match against West Indies because England were chasing a low score and Roy and Morgan were injured. He might get a chance to bat again if Afghanistan get rolled out for a low score. Woakes will also look to do his best with his primary role, i.e bowling. If he gets the new ball to swing, it could fetch him a few wickets against Afghanistan.
Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
Adil Rashid will look to replicate Imran Tahir's exploits against Afghanistan. Rashid might be able to get a few easy wickets considering that the Afghanistan batsmen might look to go after him. Liam Plunkett will be needed to pick wickets in the middle overs like he so usually does. The express duo of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood will round off the line-up for England. Archer and Wood will look to attack an Afghanistan batting line up that doesn't generally fare well against raw pace. Archer got three wickets against the same team in a warm-up game prior to the World Cup.
Jonny Bairstow - England would like Bairstow to start converting his starts and he won't get a better opponent than Afghanistan. Bairstow was at utmost ease against Afghanistan in the warm up match before the World Cup began. He raced on to 39 in no time but had to return back to the pavilion in an unfortunate manner. He even looked solid against the Afghan spinners. Bairstow will look to take all this into account and post a huge score against Afghanistan.
Joe Root - Arguably England's best player of spin bowling, Joe Root might be called up against Afghanistan to tackle their quality spinners. The pitch at Manchester provided a lot of purchase for Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Considering that the same pitch will be used for the game between England and Afghanistan, Root might have a sizeable role to play. He has also been in a surreal form in the World Cup so far.
Jofra Archer - One of England's trump cards, Jofra Archer has given a completely different dimension to the team's bowling attack. Before the World Cup, many experts considered the bowling attack as England's weak point. But, Archer brings a special quality as he can bowl in all phases of an innings with equal proficiency. He has the tendency to trick the batsmen with his pace as not many expect him to bowl 145 kph with his sedate yet rhythmic run-up. This factor will yet again be on show against Afghanistan.
Predicted Playing 11
Jonny Bairstow, James Vince, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (C/WK), Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood.
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