The Cricket World Cup: Australia vs Afghanistan in the fourth match at Bristol County Ground today. Here we sharing best performances in the past.
Australia: Ready to Reconquer
Best Performances: Champions in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015
Australia’s biggest strength throughout 2003-07 and in 2015 was and tactics-based style that saw them able to dominate international tournaments in a way never seen before. Head coach Justin Langer has adopted that style to current conditions, and renewed vigour has the squad firing on all cylinders.
Coming into the tournament on the back of victories over India and Pakistan, the Aussies are undoubtedly the team to beat. Having regained their arrogance of old and with players such as Steve Smith and David Warner in prime form, Australia will hope to reconquer the World Cup crown.
Star power: Aaron Finch has seen a meteoric rise in the past year, and at this tournament he needs to take over from game one to lay the foundation for his side. The maverick power-hitter can make big contributions with a bat, thus taking pressure off the squad’s other marquee players. With experience under his belt, the 30-year-old right-handed batsman’s raw power and his formidable presence separate him from the pack. Fast bowler Pat Cummins and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell’s experience in previous games – both positive and negative – should also be useful in England and Wales.
The Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (vc & wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Afghanistan: The Sleeping Giant
Best Performances: Group Stage in 2015
Afghanistan features perhaps its best generation of players, with veterans such as all-rounder Mohammad Nabi (30), pace bowler Dawlat Zadran (31), and right-handed batsman Noor Ali (31). It has a powerful youth movement that led to this second World Cup berth. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (18), Rahmat Shah (25), and Hazratullah Zazai (21) will look to make a good first impression. However, a complete lack of World Cup experience could be a significant disadvantage. Even with Afghanistan’s roster of experienced players, competition at this highest of levels might take a toll.
Star power: Rashid Khan showed what he can do with the ball in his hand last season, and the Afghan bowler could be one of the stars of this tournament, too. His stats are incredible, and the 20-year-old has the capability to blow teams away. Then we have Gulbadin Naib, the face of the team. Naib, who will make his World Cup debut as a skipper, will captain for the first time in an international game. With no past leadership experience, how the right-handed batsman fares in his new role remains to be seen. His credentials as a player: 807 runs in 41 ODIs to go alongside 43 wickets.
The Squad: Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.