When Afghanistan lost to India by eight wickets on Wednesday, they performed admirably overall, especially with the bat. They held off a formidable home attack and finally scored 272-8 when batting first.
It wasn’t enough to stop the loss, and it wasn’t enough against an England team that returned to winning ways with a commanding victory against Bangladesh in their second game.
On the same ground where South Africa posted 428-5 against Sri Lanka before giving up 326 in reply, England bulldozed their way to 364-9 thanks to a brilliant hundred from Dawid Malan (140), half-centuries from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, and a brilliant century from Dawid Malan (140). The defending champions will be relying on something similar there.
Rashid Khan, a wrist spinner, is one of Afghanistan’s more talented bowlers, but this is the kind of field that should suit England’s deep, aggressive batting line-up, and I can see them scoring a lot if they bat first.
Runs may remain the norm the entire time since, in the end, I believe Afghanistan will be outgunned. If Afghanistan can bat effectively once again, 275 runs for both teams is a foregone conclusion; nonetheless, 5/4 is not particularly appealing.
I’m content to let England’s strong top five batters compete against one another in the top batsmen marketplace and prefer IBRAHIM ZADRAN to represent Afghanistan.
Zadran has made 22 twice so far at this World Cup, and his game and timing both appear to be in excellent working condition. He has clearly shown signs of being prepared to put up a huge score.
As four hundred and four more fifties from 21 ODIs would attest, the 21-year-old already has a history of scoring huge runs once in position, and I continue to believe that he is the top batsman for Afghanistan.
He’s the man to beat and anything in the region of 4/1 will pay in the long run.
A purchase on Joe Root’s runs, or to make a fifty, is the other wager I have in mind.
Although Root has been in good form since coming to India, compiling scores of 77 and 82, I’ve already argued that the top England batsman market is too competitive to take a strong stance on.
He should keep making gains, and the Yorkshireman will benefit greatly from Afghanistan’s spin-heavy bowling assault.
When England plays Afghanistan on Sunday morning, they will continue their World Cup defense, and Richard Mann offers a smart bet.
Afghanistan vs. England cricket betting picks