The defending champions, Australia will kick off their 2019 World Cup campaign against minnows Afghanistan in the 4th match of the tournament. The last time these two sides met in the World Cup was in 2015 where Australia thrashed the Blue Tigers by 275 runs.
David Warner scored 178 for the host nation while Steve Smith contributed 95 runs to the team's total. With the ball, the pace trio of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood ensured that Afghanistan reach only 142 before losing all their wickets.
However, Afghanistan have improved a lot since the 2015 World Cup and they may give Australia a run for their money at Bristol. Here's how Australia may line up for their World Cup opener:
David Warner and captain Aaron Finch will open the innings for the 5-time world champions with former captain Steve Smith batting at no.3.
Shaun Marsh will take the no.4 spot with all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis occupying the next positions.
Alex Carey, the wicket-keeper of the team will bat at no.7 followed by leg-spinner, Adam Zampa.
The team's three fast bowlers will be Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff and Pat Cummins.
Key Players for Australia
Batsmen - David Warner and Steve Smith
David Warner and Steve Smith will make their international return to Australian colors after serving their ban. Both the players are extremely motivated to perform well and with the way they performed in warm-up games, one can back them to mercilessly blast the Afghan bowlers.
Bowlers - Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff
Mitchell Starc will be the key bowler for Australia not only in this match but in the entire World Cup. He will need the support of fellow left-arm pacer, Jason Behrendorff in order to trouble all the batting units in the World Cup.
Predicted Australian Playing XI
David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Pat Cummins.Published 01 Jun 2019, 08:45 IST