NZ is looking to avoid Afghanistan’s outrage as the India subplot is huge
In New Zealand, victory will send them; Afghanistan is also in contention, but its victory may favor India very much . They’re spearheaded by Rashid Khan, Mujeeb [Ur Rahman] is phenomenal as well and Mohammad Nabi is a very cagey offspinner through the powerplay too. That’s definitely where the threat lies with their bowling attack and I’m sure all our batsmen during our scouting meeting have taken that into consideration
Afghanistan may already be one of the most popular options in the world for the second-largest international cricket team, but when it enters the stadium on Sunday, it will have more supporters than ever before. Twitter is already full of Indian fans with Afghan flags next to their usernames. R Ashwin has already made a joke about India offering the help of their gym doctor to speed up Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s recovery from an injury that sidelined him for the last two Afghan games. But there is more to this game than a small Indian episode.
New Zealand and Afghanistan are both still in the semi-finals. New Zealand has an easy task – winning and finishing, no matter what India does later against Namibia. And if they win, they will be in with a chance of completing a fantastic set of overall results at the ICC tournament – finishing second in the 2019 ODI World Cup, and winning the World Test Championship earlier this year. .Afghanistan’s win may have sent India to the semi-finals, but given how unlikely its journey would have been to reach when they were strong in cricket, why not pull out another impossible twist? They certainly have the power to put out fires, and bat and much more with the ball, to make that happen – especially if Mujeeb is fit.
It is unclear whether Mujeeb is ready to play, but if he is ready, he could replace left-handed Sharafuddin Ashraf, who is expensive against India in the same stadium.
1 Hazratullah Zazai, 2 Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 3 Rahmanullah Gurbaz, 4 Gulbadin Naib, 5 Najibullah Zadran, 6 Mohammad Nabi (capt), 7 Karim Janat, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Sharafudman Ashera Asherah, 10 Naveen-ul-Haq, 11 Hamid Hassan.
A direct goal from David Wiese hit Ish Sodhi in the head while New Zealand played Namibia, but the legspinner passed the concussion test and could still be selected on Sunday.
New Zealand (possible):
1 Martin Guptill, 2 Daryl Mitchell, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Devon Conway (wk), 5 Glenn Phillips, 6 James Neesham, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Adam Milne, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Trent Boult.
Voice and context
Three of the top four figures for this World Cup have arrived in Abu Dhabi, but the world has also produced a low powerplay rating of the three UAE venues used in the tournament. Expect some early advance help, but also expect the pitch to be flat as the game progresses. Larger border sizes can make interesting tactical battles, especially if the pitch location adds an asymmetry element.