New Zealand will face Afghanistan in match number 16 of the ICC Cricket World Cup to be played at M Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on 18th October 2023. Kiwis might be handed a big blow as Kane Williamson will not play in tomorrow’s encounter against Afghanistan because of an injury to his wrist.
On the other hand, Afghanistan stunned defending Champions England by 69 runs. After posting 284 runs, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Co-created pressure to win the match comfortably. It promises to be an exciting encounter.
Both teams have good quality players who can change the course of the game with their abilities and help their country register victory.
Here we look at the 5 Players To Look Out for
- Devon Conway
The stylish left-handed batter struggled initially against disciplined Bangladesh pace bowling. He then took chances and put pressure with some lovely shots that kept the scoreboard ticking.
It was a steady knock by Conway looking in decent touch after the early fall of Rachin Ravindra’s wicket. He played with aggressive intent keeping the scoreboard ticking along with Kane Williamson.
His role is to provide a positive start and maintain the momentum for New Zealand in the first 10 overs. If he survives the initial spell, New Zealand would be hoping that he tackles Afghanistan spinners decently which would help them to make life tough for the opponent. Playing his first match against Afg, Conway will look to showcase his talent against strong Afghanistan pacers and spinners later.
- Rahmanullah Gurbaz
The explosive right-handed batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz showed his intent right from the word go and put enough pressure on the England bowlers in the first 10 overs not allowing them to settle. It was an attacking display of batting by Gurbaz putting enough pressure.
Gurbaz scored a quickfire 80 putting on 114 runs opening a partnership with Ibrahim Zadran. He looked in decent touch keeping the momentum going for Afghanistan. His role is to provide another attacking start to Afghanistan in the first 10 overs and help them to post a decent total if batting first.
The challenge for Gurbaz would be to continue his consistency and make sure that they pose a challenge for the New Zealand bowling lineup.
- Daryl Mitchell
Daryl Mitchell looked in sensational touch during the previous match against Bangladesh. He came to the crease after the fall of Conway’s wicket. It was a good display of batting by Mitchell putting the bad deliveries away for boundaries and keeping the scoreboard ticking for New Zealand.
He showed his intent with some lusty shots that made life tough. Mitchell remained not out and helped New Zealand register 7 wicket victory. His role is to keep the strike rotating if the openers give a decent start laying the foundation.
His ability to put pressure on the spinners makes him a special batter. With the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid Khan, and Nabi in the bowling department, his role is to make sure that New Zealand doesn’t lose wickets in a heap.
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Mujeeb Ur Rahman had a decent outing for Afghanistan against defending Champions England at New Delhi. He got rid of Joe Root with a beauty that put enough pressure on them.
He then dismissed the well-set Harry Brook and Chris Woakes in quick succession to leave Afghanistan on the brink of a famous win. It was a special effort by Mujeeb with figures of 3 for 51 in 10 overs that stalled the progress of England.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman will play a key role in providing early wickets keeping the pressure on the Kiwi batting lineup. For his 3 for 51 and quickfire knock, he was named the player of the match award.
Playing his first World Cup game against New Zealand, his role is to keep pressure on New Zealand batters in the initial 10 overs which will put enough pressure.
- Lockie Ferguson
Lockie Ferguson had a superb outing against Bangladesh. He bowled with a quick pace and troubled the batters. His bowling looked sharp not allowing them to hit big shots keeping the batters away.
Ferguson got the early breakthrough by dismissing Tanzid Hasan and dismissed Mehidy Hasan Miraz in quick succession. His speed dismissed Shakib AL Hasan who ended a brilliant partnership for the 5th wicket. For his match-winning spell, Lockie Ferguson was named the player of the match award.
He will play a key role for New Zealand in picking wickets and not allowing the Afghanistan batters to score runs easily. Ferguson had a superb outing during the 2019 edition against the same opponent with figures of 4 for 37 in 9.1 overs that laid for a resounding win over Afghanistan.