Defending champions England will start their campaign against Afghanistan at Colombo and it should be an easy task for them. But then they will have to take guard against complacency as Afghanistan showed in their last match what they are capable of and caught India in a spot of bother. England, who are without their last T20 World Cup hero Kevin Pietersen, did not have a good year so far and will look to start the tournament with a bang.
They will start as clear favourites in the match, but then the way Afghanistan played against India, shows that they can spring some surprises.
Afghanistan perhaps know that this is their last match at the T20 World Cup and will play fearlessly. They have already won hearts after the spirited performance against India in the last match and if they can take it to a level higher, then they can definitely make a match out of it.
Both the teams have some exciting talents and will have a huge role to play in today’s match:
Here are few of the players to watch out for in today’s match:
Craig Keiswetter: The wicket-keeper batsman is one of the best batsmen of England and his team will be banking on him for a good start. Keiswetter is a very dangerous batsman and can take any bowling attack to the cleaners. He has in the past shown his ability and will definitely be looking forward to make a mark in the tournament.
Eoin Morgan: Morgan will be England’s key batsman throughout the tournament. Morgan averages 37 with a highest score of 85 and what makes him dangerous is the ability to destroy even the best of the bowling attacks. He is equally effective while playing conventionally or in an unorthodox manner.
Graeme Swann: Swann is one of the most experienced bowlers of the side. He has terrific record in T20 cricket and has taken 44 wickets in 34 matches that he has played in. He can get extremely dangerous in these conditions and Afghanistan will have to deal with him carefully.
Stuart Broad: The skipper of England has changed drastically after getting hit for six consecutive sixes in an over in the first edition of the T20 World Cup. He has developed a lot of variations in his repertoire and now is one of the premier bowlers in the world cricket. He has taken 19 wickets from 17 World Cup matches.
Mohammad Shahzad: Shahzad has already shown what he is capable of in the last match. He took the attack to the Indian bowlers and got his team off to a good start. He is the most successful Afghani batsmen in the T20 format and has a very good batting average of 31 with a health strike rate of 112. Afghanistan will need all their big players to be at their best and he is surely one of them.
Samiullah Shenwari: He is the biggest striker in the Afghanistan team. His strike rate of 132 is the highest by a big margin. He missed out in the last match but then will be and will try to make amends in this match.
Mohammad Nabi: The all-rounder was the highest run scorer for Afghanistan in the last match. He almost won the match for his team with his hitting prowess. He is also a pretty effective off-spinner and accounted for a wicket against India.
Shapoor Zadran: The left arm fast bowler got Afghanistan was off to a dream start in the last match against India. He dismissed Sehwag and Gambhir in his first spell and his team will want him to do similar today as well. He bowls at a decent pace and the ability to swing to ball can trouble the English batsmen.
By Indian Sports News Network