T20 World Cup 2021, Afghanistan vs Pakistan (Super 12) preview: PAK looks to continue winning momentum
Afghanistan and Pakistan are off to winning starts in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. However, one of the teams is likely to lose its first match of the tournament.
In a clash of two neighbouring countries, Afghanistan takes on former champion Pakistan in Group 2's Super 12 tie of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday. Both the teams have had winning performances in the tournament so far, while one is likely to suffer a defeat, as we present the preview of this exciting game.
Pakistan is off to a winning start in the Super 12 stage, winning both the matches so far, including the one against its arch-rival India. Also, it had won and lost a game each during the warm-ups. On the other hand, Afghanistan was also off to a winning start, winning its opening Super 12 match against Scotland by a massive margin of 130 runs, while it had won and lost a game each during the warm-ups.
Team strength & weaknesses, and players to watch out
As far as the teams are concerned, Afghanistan is a tide heavy on its batting. However, its bowling department is packed with superstars. In the batting, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Shahzad are the ones to watch out for. At the same time, the bowling would have Rashid Khan and Mujeed-ur-Rahman to dominate.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's strength is in its batting, with 12 batters and nine dangerous bowlers. Although it has just three specialist bowlers, it is incredibly lethal, while its batting has been flawless so far. The players to watch out would be skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shaheen Afridi.
Injury concerns, head-to-head, weather and pitch report
None of the sides has any injury concerns. The two sides have played each other just once, with Pakistan having the upper hand, while the game was played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) itself. The weather in Dubai would be warm, with an expected temperature of 34 degrees and 45% humidity. The pitch would stay even, while the dew factor could prompt the side winning the toss to chase.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi (c), Rashid Khan, Gulbadin Naib, Naveen-ul-Haq and Mujeeb ur Rehman.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf.
Batters: Zadran, Azam, Zazai- Azam will give the perfect start, as Zadran would dominate at number three, while Zazai would consolidate in the middle-order.
Wicketkeepers: Rizwan (vc), Gurbaz- Rizwan will be explosive as an opener, making him the deputy captain, while Gurbaz would come out to be handly in the middle.
All-rounder: Hafeez- He is likely to be eventful in all departments, especially with the bat, as has been the case so far.
Bowlers: Rashid, Hasan, Mujeeb (c), Afridi, Rauf- While Rashid and Mujeeb would nail it with theirs spins, the latter's consistency makes him the skipper. The remaining three would tear apart any batting order with their absolute pace.
Date and day: October 29, 2021 (Friday)
Venue: Dubai International Stadium
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar