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New Zealand's predicted Playing XI for the game against Afghanistan

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ICC World Cup 2019 | New Zealand’s Predicted XI for their game against Afghanistan

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SportsCafe Desk

06/08/2019

After winning the first two games of the tournament, New Zealand are better placed and hope to carry on their winning momentum for the next game against Afghanistan. While they are settled and there is hardly any need of change, Ish Sodhi may replace Colin de Grandhomme keeping the wicket in mind.

Openers

Martin Guptill: The Kiwi opener came to the tournament with a terrible run of form in all three formats of the game but quickly shrugged that off to score a fluent 73 against Sri Lanka in New Zealand’s tournament opener. The flat track of Taunton will also help his style of batting as New Zealand try to get the better of a depleted Afghanistan.

Colin Munro: Ditto for Munro. He had a rather easy outing against Sri Lanka but that fell apart against Bangladesh, where he could manage to score only 24 runs. One of the most important things to consider about Munro is his propensity of throwing it away when it matters the most and if Afghanistan can crack that code, they will be better placed.

Middle-order

Kane Williamson: If Virat Kohli is the epitome of consistency, well, Kane Williamson is not too far behind. His ability to soak in the pressure and steadying the ship has been of immense value for New Zealand and don’t be surprised if he flies under the radar and put up another inspiring display.

Ross Taylor: If Ross Taylor would have been playing for India or Pakistan, then who knows, what his cult status would have been? The amount of experience that he had got by playing for Middlesex would keep him in good stead and he will try to take inspiration from the warm-up game against India and the solid 82 against Bangladesh.

Henry Nicholls: Nicholls has recovered from a hamstring injury that saw him miss the Black Caps' first two matches but yesterday, coach Gary Stead confirmed that he was available for selection at Taunton. Afghanistan could prove a perfect platform for Nicholls to find some form before facing one of the toughest tests of pool against India in Nottingham on Thursday.

Tom Latham: Possibly the most adept of New Zealand cricketer against spinners, Latham will be a major player for the game today, considering Afghanistan’s spin bowling prowess. Latham was very good behind the stumps as well.

Spinner

Ish Sodhi: New Zealand’s horses for courses policy may see them include Ish Sodhi ahead of Colin de Grandhomme for the simple fact that Somerset had bossed the policy at the same venue with spinners like Jack Leach. It will be a good decision if Black Caps back Sodhi for the role instead of CDG.

Mitchell Santner: One of the most underrated spinners of the current era, Santner has more than enough skills to tangle the opposition. His economical bowling display has been New Zealand’s strength over the years and the hard-hitting impetus that Santner provides will be the key to tackle small boundary threats.

Pacers

Matt Henry:Trent Boult is very good, but how brilliant is Matt Henry? His ability to dominate the opposition with his sideways movement was on the show in the game against Sri Lanka, and for a moment, he rose to become their best bowler in the game. New Zealand will expect nothing less. 

Lockie Ferguson: Ferguson's pace shapes as a welcome asset for New Zealand this year and that also provides a varying degree to the unit, which has Matt Henry and Trent Boult. Ferguson is a tireless performer and tackling him will be a challenge for the Asian nation.

Trent Boult: His importance to the team can never be confined to a box because Boult always provides something more than what he was asked for. His ability to move the ball both ways and intimidate the opposition with quality pace has been a non-tradable equity and Afghanistan should do well to avoid that.

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