World Cup 2019, Match 4, Australia vs Afghanistan: Why Afghanistan will win the match
The last time these two sides faced each other in the mega event, Australia dismantled Afghanistan, but one should bear in mind that this is not the same Afghan side that crashed out of the 2015 World Cup with just one victory. This team has a lot of talent and can potentially upset the top-class teams on their day.
The fact that they defeated Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the 2018 Asia Cup before handing Pakistan a loss in a World Cup warm-up match is evidence that Afghanistan have improved a lot as a team.
Their spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will play a vital role in deciding how far they progress in this tournament.
Coming to their clash against Australia, the winners of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers will have to play out of their skin today to ensure that they get off to a winning start.
Bowling is Afghanistan's major strength and the likes of Rashid, Zadran and co. need to come out all guns blazing. Australia have a star-studded batting line-up but if the Afghan bowlers execute their plans to perfection and skittle out the Aussies for a low total then the batsmen should not find it hard to do chase down the score.
In case Afghanistan bat first, the likes of Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai need to come to the party and help their side reach at least 250. Rashid Khan and Nabi will have extra pressure on their shoulders today but if Afghanistan are to make their mark in the tournament, they need to get their campaign off to a winning start.