T20 World Cup: England hope to lay down early marker in Super 12 tie vs Afghanistan

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T20 World Cup: England hope to lay down early marker in Super 12 tie vs Afghanistan
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T20 World Cup 2022: England will look to lay down an early marker when they take on dangerous Afghanistan in their Super 12 opener in Perth. It will be a test for Jos Buttler, who leads the side in a major tournament for the first time.

Jos Buttler will lead England in T20 World Cup 2022 (AFP Photo)

By India Today Web Desk: England were not able to live up to the expectations and complete a World Cup double in the UAE last year but they will begin their hunt for another T20 World Cup title when they take on Afghanistan in the second match of Super 12 at the Perth Stadium in Perth on Saturday, October 22.

England were outclassed by New Zealand in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in the UAE last year as the power-packed side, under Eoin Morgan, failed to deliver on the potential the team to go all the way. The expectations around the English unit despite a few injury concerns are high as they have headed to Australia under new captain Jos Buttler.

T20 World Cup 2022: Full Coverage

Buttler did not have the greatest of starts to his white-ball captaincy career after taking over from Eoin Morgan earlier in 2022. The Rajasthan Royals star lost home series to a visiting Indian team but the team’s performances have slowly taken an upward graph. Despite Buttler’s absence, England won a 7-match series 4-3 in Pakistan earlier this year before they defeated defending champions Australia at their own backyard earlier this month in a 3-match series.

England have won only 10 of the 21 T20Is played in 2022 but their recent record of 4 wins in 5 matches paints a better picture. Under Buttler, England have the quality and firepower to challenge for the title and the former champions will be hoping to make an early statement of intent in Perth against Afghanistan on Saturday.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, would want to make the best use of their direct berth in the Super 12 stage. While they have the batting firepower to challenge the best, all eyes will be on Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman as the Asian side will rely on its spinners to get the job done in big grounds in Australia.

RAIN THREAT?

While there is a forecast for rain in the Super 12 opener between Australia and New Zealand in Sydney, Perth is set to offer some good weather conditions for England’s opener against Afghanistan. Perth has also witnessed rainfall in the last few days but it’s expected to be pleasant and a bit cloudy on Saturday.

England vs Afghanistan will start at 7 pm local time, 4:30 pm IST.

PREDICTED XIs: ENG vs AFG

England: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Alex Hales, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Najibullah Zadran, Ibrahim Zadran Usman Ghani, Mohammad Nabi (c), Fareed Ahmad Malik, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi

CAPTAINS’ CORNER

England skipper Jos Buttler said England are far from favourites for the T20 World Cup campaign in Australia.

“No, far from it, to be honest. I think we’re a dangerous team. We’ve got a lot of talented players who can win games on their own, and that’s a huge thing in T20 cricket,” Buttler said.

“It’s hard to pick favourites, I guess. If you had to choose one, it’s probably Australia in their own conditions being reigning champions,” he added.

Buttler also talked up Rashid Khan threat, saying Afghanistan will pose a strong challenge to other teams in the tournament.

“Yeah, I see them as a really tough opponent. You look through their team, there’s some fantastic players. Any side with Rashid Khan in T20 cricket is going to have a big say. We give them huge respect, and we look forward to a really competitive game,” he added.



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