In a big setback to Afghanistan’s hopes in the 2019 ICC World Cup, veteran wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament due to a knee injury.
The 32-year-old had featured in both of Afghanistan’s matches in the World Cup so far although he had failed to really come to the party. He was dismissed for a duck in the campaign opener against Australia before scoring just seven runs in the loss to Sri Lanka most recently.
Shahzad has been one of the key men in Afghanistan’s meteoric rise in international cricket and is a veteran of 84 ODIs where he has scored 2,727 runs.
In light of Shahzad’s injury, the ICC’s Event Technical Committee has approved Ikram Ali Khil as a replacement for the wicketkeeper-batsman for the remainder of the tournament.
18-year-old Ikram Ali Khil made his Afghanistan senior debut in March this year when he featured in two ODIs against Ireland at Dehradun. The young wicketkeeper was then handed his Test debut against the same opposition a few days later.
Afghanistan are currently languishing at the bottom of the 10-team World Cup standings with two losses in as many matches. They will next face table-toppers New Zealand at Taunton on Saturday.
The biggest prize in cricket is up for grabs this summer as the top 10 teams battle it out in the 2019 ICC World Cup in England.
As fans, it’s not just watching the best players battle it out to look forward to. Fantasy cricket means you have the opportunity to get involved as well.
Dream11 is the official partner of the ICC tournament’s fantasy league. And we are with you every step of the way with our tips and picks to guide you through each round. Here, we help you navigate through the third round which includes five matches.
Expect pacers to thrive in England vs Bangladesh
The only match to take place in Cardiff in round three is that of hosts England against Bangladesh. Contrary to expectations from the World Cup, the pitch at Cardiff has been a nightmare for batsmen in the two previous rounds. Sri Lanka featured in both matches and were bowled out for just 136 in the first game before beating Afghanistan in a tight low-scoring encounter at the same venue.
Pacers have been the dominant force in both matches with swing coming in abundance. Hence, picking someone like Jofra Archer could be good business in the third round.
Rohit Sharma (10 credits)
The India opener started the tournament with a bang with a match-winning century against South Africa at Southampton. He had looked out of form in the warm-ups but his display against the Proteas will quell all doubts about that going forward.
The right-hander’s tons tend to come in streaks and he now has 23 of them in total. He will enjoy the conditions at the Oval when he faces up to Australia.
Kane Williamson (10 credits)
The New Zealand skipper is yet to truly arrive in the tournament but his immense class assures you that a big innings is always around the corner. Williamson was in excellent form in the warm-ups with scores of 67 and 85 and he followed that up with a 40 in the World Cup win over Bangladesh.
The fact that he is up against tournament minnows Afghanistan bodes well for his chances to score big.
Babar Azam (10.5 credits)
The Pakistan stalwart would have been a tempting pick anyway for the Fantasy line up but the fact that he is facing up to his favourite opposition seals his selection.
He has looked good in both of his innings in the World Cup so far but the big innings has continued to elude him. However, he averages over 58 against his round three opponents Sri Lanka and will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing them again.
Jofra Archer (8.5 credits)
The newly capped England pacer did not have the best of outings against Pakistan but he showed his class against South Africa in the tournament opener with a fiery spell of 3-27.
Archer will relish bowling on the Cardiff pitch under overcast conditions and his express pace could work a treat against Bangladesh’s batsmen.
Jasprit Bumrah (9.5 credits)
If Rabada breathed fire for South Africa, Bumrah did exactly the same, if not better, for India. The No1 ranked ODI bowler in the world was in his element as he rocked South Africa’s top-order with the early wickets of the openers.
The sight of Bumrah having a poor outing has become increasingly rare over the past year and he should be able to keep up that remarkable consistency against the Aussies as well.
Kagiso Rabada (9.5 credits)
The South African pace spearhead gave India a real working over at Southampton on Wednesday despite his team’s eventual loss. He picked up two wickets and could have had more if the fielders hadn’t spilled some chances.
The youngster was in great form throughout his spell and he will be bowling at the same venue again in round three against the Windies.
Ben Stokes (9 credits)
The England star man had a fantastic first round before a quiet outing in the second. With the hosts playing at Cardiff, his medium-pace should be a big threat against the Bangladesh batsmen.
His talent with the bat has never been in question and he can always be banked on for some quick-fire runs down the order.
Andre Russell (9.5 credits)
With the general form he has been in over the past few months, it is just foolish at this stage to not pick the Windies all-rounder. Russell was whacking sixes for run in the recent IPL and he has brought the same form to the international stage as well.
In fact, it has been his bowling that has been Russell’s biggest threat in the World Cup so far with four wickets in two matches.
Jos Buttler (9.5 credits)
There are many in-form wicketkeepers to choose from currently but the England man just seems to have a different class about it. He has registered some of the most ridiculous of centuries over the past one year and it is no surprise that he now holds the record for the two fastest ODI tons by an England batsman.
CAPTAIN: Jofra Archer
VICE CAPTAIN: Babar Azam
Windies skipper Jason Holder was left to rue some rash shot-making from his batsmen as his side fell to a 15-run defeat against defending champions Australia in the 2019 ICC World Cup.
The Caribbean side had Australia on the ropes early on with the ball at 38-4 but the five-time champions recovered through half-centuries from Nathan Coulter-Nile and Steve Smith to ultimately post 288.
In response, Windies were well in the game with half-centuries from Holder himself and Shai Hope but some poor shot-making at the death from batsmen such as Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite saw them ultimately fade away in the chase.
“Obviously disappointed. I thought we were well in the game there,” a dejected Holder said after the game.
“Just a few irresponsible shots when we probably just needed to tap it around a little bit more. Having said that, I still think there’s lots of positives to take out of this game.
“If we came here at the start of the day and limited Australia to 280, we’d have taken that. The batters need to take the responsibility and knock it off. It’s still early days. We have to be more consistent. When we have teams down, we have to keep them down.”
His Australia counterpart Aaron Finch was delighted with the fighting spirit his side showed despite being in precarious positions at several points in the game.
“We just kept hanging in there,” said Finch.
“From 4 for 30-odd to be able to fight back, that partnership between Alex Carey and Steve Smith to get us a little deeper and then Nathan Coulter-Nile to play the way he did was exceptional.
“It’s not ideal for the top order to miss out and put us in that position but even with the ball we hung in there and I’m really proud of the boys today.”
It was the second win in as many for the Aussies in the 2019 World Cup and it stretched their winning run in ODIs to 10 matches. For Windies, it was the first loss after the Caribbean side had earlier thrashed Pakistan in their campaign opener.