Struck by a series of injury setbacks, England will look to get the combination right when they take on the low-ranked but spirited Afghanistan in their bid get closer to a semi-final berth at Emirates Old Trafford, in Manchester on June 18.
The hosts are struggling with fitness issues, the latest being captain Eoin Morgan having to leave the field with a back spasm during the game against the West Indies. Opening batsman Jason Roy was also forced off the field during the same match due to a tight hamstring. Himself in doubt for the match Morgan insisted there is no need to hit the panic button just yet.
In case Morgan isn’t fully fit, vice captain Jos Buttler is likely to lead the team which boasts of a strong bench strength that includes the likes of Tom Curran and Moeen Ali. After suffering a shock loss to Pakistan, England have got their act together, excelling in all three departments and the hosts will want to continue riding on the winning momentum.
On the other hand, Afghanistan will be eager to post their first win in the ongoing 50-over showpiece. Playing in their second World Cup, the bottom-placed Afghanistan lost all four of their matches till now to South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand respectively.
However, the players from the war-torn nation can take confidence from the fact that they almost pulled off a win against Sri Lanka. The main concern will be batting as Afghanistan are yet to play out 40-plus overs in any of their games.
The England-Afghanistan clash is the 24th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The match will take place at The Old Trafford Stadium in Greater Manchester. The match will start at 3 PM IST today. It will be broadcast live on StarSports network. Online viewers can logon to Hotstar for all the live action.
ENGLAND: James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Jos Buttler (c/wk), Ben Stokes, Tom Curran, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer
AFGHANISTAN: Hamid Hassan, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Noor Ali Zadran, Aftab Alam, Gulbadin Naib (c), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Hazratullah Zazai
Dream 11 Picks
Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Abdul Rashid.