England take on Afghanistan in 2nd match of the WT20 2022 at the Optus Stadium in Perth. After defeating Pakistan 4-3 in their own backyard without key players and crushing defending champions Australia 2-0, England have found their feet again just in time for the big stage. Based on how they approached their batting in warm-ups, it's clear they'll be ruthless. It has been a tough year for England in white-ball cricket. They have lost T20I series to WI, IND & SA, lost ODI series to IND and drew 1-1 against South Africa.
A number of tough decisions had to be made coming into the world cup. They dropped Roy and included Alex Hales after more than three years. Their campaign was already hit by Jofra Archer's unavailability, Bairstow's injury, and then further injuries to Wood, Buttler, and Livingstone. And, just before the 1st game, they have been dealt with another huge blow as Reece Topley had to make way for Tymal Mills after sustaining a tear while practicing. In Buttler, Hales, Malan, Stokes, Brook, Livingstone, Moeen and Curran it is arguably the best batting line up of the tournamnet and with Jordan and Willey, England bats deep. The pitches down under will suit their style of play as Malan and Stokes are predominantly backfoot players. The only one chink in their armour is death bowling and a lot of onus will lie on the shoulders of Mark Wood.
Harry Brook is this year's one of the players to watch out for.
Afghanistan began their Asia Cup campaign by crushing Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in their group stage. In the Super 4s, Afghanistan carried on the momentum but lost against Sri Lanka while defending a good total. By bowling 2 full tosses in the final over to the no 11 batter, they handed Pakistan a win on the plate, eliminating them from the tournament. Apart from beating WI in 2016, Afghanistan hasn't caused a major upset in ICC events despite coming so close against Pakistan and India in the World Cup 2019 and against Pakistan again in the last World Twenty20. It's going to be a tough task for Afghanistan, since it's in Group A with Eng, NZ, Aus, SL, but Cricket is an unpredictable game. Anyone can win on the big stage.
All eyes will be on Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Nazibullah Zadran. The former was picked by Gujarat Titans in this years IPL. Apart from being a hard hitting opener, he is also a part time keeper with a SR of over 150 in t20s. He has made an immediate impact in leagues around the world by scoring good knocks on his debut in the BPL and the LPL.
Afghanistan: Zazai, Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Nabi, Rasooli, Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb, Farooqi, Naveen
England: Buttler, Hales, Malan, Livingstone, Stokes, Moeen, Curran, Willey, Jordan, Adil Rashid, Wood
Pitch & Conditions: Belter of a wicket with no chance of rain.
Match Ups (all T20s)
Buttler vs Rashid: 31 off 49 balls with 4 dismissals
Stokes vs Rashid: 15 off 20 balls with 3 dismissals
Malan vs Mujeeb: 10 off 17 balls with 2 dismissals
Stokes vs Mujeeb: 14 off 10 balls with 2 dismissals
Livingstone is the only English batsman to dominate Rashid
Recent Form (last 5 T20I innings)
>Core Team: Gurbaz, Buttler, Malan, Rashid, Farooqi, Wood