Australia enters their last match of the Super 12 on the hunt for a net run rate-boosting victory
Australia captain Aaron Finch is now in serious doubt for his side’s do-or-die T20 World Cup clash with Afghanistan after being sidelined during their final training session at Adelaide Oval this afternoon
Australia, sit on the brink of exit from the tournament as they face up against Afghanistan at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
Currently, the host nation occupies third place in Group 1, behind New Zealand and England, by way of a far inferior net run rate. Heading into Friday’s clash, the focus for Aaron Finch’s men will be on not just winning but winning big to overturn this deficit.
However, the fact remains that despite Australia’s efforts, their future is beyond their control, and Saturday’s match between England and Sri Lanka will play the deciding role in who progresses to the knockout stage from the group.
Coming off the back of a comfortable 42-run victory against Ireland that saw captain Aaron Finch’s return to form, with a player of the match winning 63 of 44, the hosts will hope that their skipper can once again provide the goods.
On the other end of the spectrum, Afghanistan arrive in Adelaide with nothing to play for but pride. The Group 1 strugglers currently sit bottom of the table after two defeats and two rain-affected fixtures.
If Afghanistan are to cause an upset, Rashid Khan and co will need their batters to step up to the mantle. Having yet to flourish with the bat, Afghanistan cannot rely purely on their bowlers to guide them to victory, especially when facing up against the quality attack that Australia has at their disposal.
Friday’s contest will mark just the first meeting between the two sides in a T20I, with the teams’ only previous encounters taking place in three ODIs, with Australia having seized victory in all of these matches.
Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Player of the tournament in 2021, Warner has yet to fire at this year’s edition, with just 19 runs coming from his three innings.
Chasing a conclusive victory to surge ahead of England on net run rate, a swift start from Warner will be vital if Australia are to pack the pressure on their Ashes rivals.
The talisman of the Afghanistan bowling attack, Rashid Khan, will once again play a fundamental role in his side’s chances of success against Australia.
With teams so far opting to limit any risk against the Afghan bowler, Khan has taken three wickets and will be looking to finish off his T20 World Cup campaign with a flourish.