MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Sunday, 26 May 2024

World Cup 2023: Australia look to seal semi-final spot vs fearless Afghanistan

Australia need only one win from their remaining two contests — against Afghanistan and Bangladesh — to become third semi-finalists

Our Bureau Mumbai Published 07.11.23, 08:17 AM
Sachin Tendulkar in conversation with the Afghanistan team at the Wankhede on Monday, ahead of their match against Australia.

Sachin Tendulkar in conversation with the Afghanistan team at the Wankhede on Monday, ahead of their match against Australia. PTI picture

With seats filling up fast for the World Cup semi-finals, Australia will look to ba­nish their middle-order woes and secure a final-four spot against a fearless Afghanistan here on Tuesday.

Only two places remain up for the taking with rampant India slated to finish atop the World Cup points table. South Africa have also qualified.

ADVERTISEMENT

With no other team directly threatening Australia’s progression into the semi-finals, Pat Cummins’ men would like to finish the job at the first given opportunity here at the Wankhede.

The battle promises to be an enticing watch given Afghanistan’s battery of spinners and resolute batting itching to deliver a strong show against Australia, for whom leg-spinner Adam Zampa’s 19 wickets in seven matches are the most for any bowler in this World Cup.

Australia need only one win from their remaining two contests — against Afghanistan and Bangladesh — to become the third semi-finalists.

But the five-time champions are also in a way, a bit far from their best even though they come into Tuesday’s contest riding high on the confidence of five consecutive wins, given that their middle-order is yet to come to the party.

Steve Smith (1) and Marnus Labuschagne (2) are no ODI behemoths but a combi­ned total of three fifties in se­ven matches each between Nos. 3 and 4 would give any team a huge concern. But giv­en how the duo batted in Ahm­edabad, both Smith and Labu­schagne will hope for str­onger returns aga­inst Afghanistan.

At the top, David Warner (428 runs in 7 matches at 61.14, 2x100s, 1x50s) has done the heavylifting.

For Afghanistan, who have lost all three ODIs to Australia, including two in World Cups, it will be imperative to keep building on the success they have garnered in this edition. With four wins in the last five matches, the Afghans have kept the semi-final dream alive but getting past Australia will be a humongous challenge, knowing that they are also required to improve the Net Run Rate in their respective last two league games.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT