Afghanistan vs. Australia
|Date & Time||Saturday June 1, 2019, 8:30 AM (EDT)|
Bristol County Ground
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Australia will begin their 2019 ICC World Cup campaign in Bristol where they will face Afghanistan.
It has been a good few months for Australian cricket as the team seems to have found their winning ways again. Prior to arriving in England, Australia defeated both India and Pakistan in ODI matches away from home. Aaron Finch seemed to find his good form and the captain led the team extremely well. Steve Smith and David Warner have both also returned into the team and their inclusions have made this side look very strong. The bowling will be led by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins with both bowlers bowling playing well in the warm-up game against Sri Lanka. Australia have been playing well and the team will be confident as they enter this match.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, are a very new team in international cricket. Qualification into this tournament is a big bonus for Afghan cricket and the team is looking in decent touch as they enter this match. Afghanistan have played 2 warm-up matches since arriving in England. The team defeated Pakistan but failed to win against England. The key for Afghanistan will be their spin bowling. Afghanistan have the likes of Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan. All 3 are amongst the top spinners in the world and they will be vital in ensuring Afghanistan have a chance. The key issue for Afghanistan will be their batting as I fail to find any player who has the ability to score runs on a consistent basis.
Bristol is known for its short boundaries and flat wicket. This could be a very high scoring match.
Afghanistan and Australia have a hugely contrasting history. Afghanistan is still a very young cricketing nation and it is safe to assume that this is the first major tournament where this team has been seen as a proper challenger. Australia, on the other hand, have one of the stronger records in cricket history. The Australians are the current World Cup champions and they have won this title on 5 occasions. While the majority of the team is different for Australia, this team has players like Warner and Starc who have won the title. With the experience of a successful campaign on their side, Australia will be very confident in their ability to win this tournament.
Afghanistan have the ability to beat any team but I don’t see it happening in this fixture. The conditions in Bristol are not suited for spinners and I see that costing Afghanistan. Australia have been playing well and I see them having too much batting strength for Afghanistan. I see Australia starting their campaign with a win.