Cricket

Australia Vs Afghanistan, T20 World Cup Super 8: Three Key Player Battles To Watch Out For

Afghanistan must win or risk standing on the verge of elimination, while a victory for Australia would take them one step closer to a semi-final spot at ICC T20 World Cup 2024. Here are three key player battles that could define the outcome of the AUS vs AFG match

Glenn Maxwell bats, AUS vs BAN, ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Super 8s, AP photo
Glenn Maxwell had smashed an unbeaten double-century against Afghanistan at the 2023 ODI World Cup. Photo: AP/Lynne Sladky
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Australia's tryst with sub-continental sides continues in the Super Eight stage of ICC T20 World Cup 2024. After setting aside Bangladesh in their previous encounter, the Aussies are now up against Afghanistan in Kingstown, St Vincent (West Indies) on Sunday, June 23. (Prediction | Preview | Full Coverage)

The Afghans lost to India in their last match, and will be vary of the threat the mighty Australia possess. But they can take heart from the fight they showed the Aussies, the last time they met them in the international arena - at the 2023 ODI World Cup.

Afghanistan must win or risk standing on the verge of elimination, while a victory for Australia would take them one step closer to a semi-final spot. Before the AUS vs AFG clash begins, here are three key player battles that could define the outcome of the contest.

Glenn Maxwell Vs Rashid Khan

Anyone who followed last year's ODI World Cup would remember Glenn Maxwell's superhuman unbeaten double-century, that paved the way for an incredible come-from-behind win for the Aussies against Afghanistan. Maxwell would love to pull off something special again, but Afghan skipper Rashid Khan will steadfastly aim to prevent that. The wily leg-spinner will try to use the spin-friendly surface in St Vincent to his advantage.

Travis Head Vs Fazalhaq Farooqi

Australia opener Travis Head has time and again proved just how destructive he can be in the powerplay overs and beyond. The southpaw has also shown that he can pace the innings if needed too, upping the tempo at the crunch moment. Hence it becomes vital for the Afghans to see his back early, and their red-hot seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi will try his best to do that. Farooqi, the leading wicket-taker at this edition thus far with 15 dismissals, would love to claim Head's scalp.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz Vs Adam Zampa

The 22-year-old Rahmanullah Gurbaz has batted beautifully in the top order at the World Cup. The Afghan wicketkeeper-cum-opener, though, has failed to fire in his last three outings and will be looking to rectify that with a big one against Australia. But their star leg-spinner Adam Zampa could make it difficult for him. Zampa's bag of tricks could be challenging to surmount for Gurbaz and this could play out as a fascinating contest in the middle overs.

Squads

Australia: David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh (c), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Cameron Green, Nathan Ellis, Ashton Agar.

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan(c), Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Karim Janat, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Ishaq, Nangeyalia Kharote.

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