ICC World Cup 2019, Afghanistan vs New Zealand: Top 5 player battles - Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan in action
Here’s a look at the top five player battles to watch out for in the ICC World Cup match between Afghanistan and New Zealand.Updated: Jun 08, 2019 13:49 IST
New Zealand coach Gary Stead denied his batsmen are vulnerable to spin bowling and said the 2015 finalists are ready for a slow-bowling onslaught in Saturday’s World Cup match against Afghanistan.
New Zealand lost each of their top six batsmen to a spinner in Thursday’s win against Bangladesh before pulling off a tight chase for their second victory of the tournament.
Bangladesh’s spinners sent down 28 of the 47 overs in the innings, a prospect Stead’s side might face again against a spin-heavy Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan are definitely a force and spin is one of their strength areas,” Stead said on Friday.
“We expect that against some of the Asian sides in particular. We have played spin well in the past and maybe the pressure of the moment the other night made for some poor decisions.”
Afghanistan strike largely through leg-spinner Rashid Khan and the off-spin duo of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi who collectively bowled the bulk of the overs in their defeat by Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Here’s a look at the top five player battles to watch out for in the ICC World Cup match between Afghanistan and New Zealand.
Hazratullah Zazai vs Matt Henry
Matt Henry has the ability to crank up the pace with the new ball. He can rattle top order batsmen and therefore Afghanistan opener Hazratullah Zazai has to find a way to counter the Henry factor. The New Zealand bowler is in good form as well, picking 7 wickets in the tournament so far.
Mohammad Nabi vs Trent Boult
Mohammad Nabi can hit the big shots against the spinners, but it will be interesting to see how he plays against Trent Boult. The New Zealand pacer can swing the ball at a fast pace and Nabi may struggle against the Kiwi bowler. Nabi has scored 3 runs off 3 balls against Boult in ODIs so far.
Martin Guptill vs Hamid Hassan
Hamid Hassan has the ability to trouble batsmen with the new ball and therefore Martin Guptill will have to work out a clear cut plan to face the Afghanistan fast bowler. Guptill has managed 21 runs off 21 balls in their mini contest in ODIs so far. Hassan is yet to dismiss Guptill in the 50-over format.
Kane Williamson vs Rashid Khan
Kane Williamson must have faced many deliveries from Rashid Khan in the nets during the IPL, but the leg-spinner still poses a threat for the Kiwi captain. It is very difficult to read Rashid Khan off his hands and any misjudgement will be fatal for Williamson.
Ross Taylor vs Dawlat Zadran
Ross Taylor has had the upper hand in his contest with Dawlat Zadran so far. The Kiwi batsman has scored 12 runs off 10 balls, laced with two boundaries against the fast bowler. Zadran will hope to dismiss the experienced batter in their next match.
(With inputs from agencies)