Not a lot to gain in dead-rubber
For the bottom-two teams in this year’s ICC World Cup, pride is just about the only thing worth playing for in this upcoming fixture at Headingley. Afghanistan’s winless-campaign shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, they’re still finding their feet at International level but have managed to challenge some teams in the process. The West Indies on the other hand have been extremely-disappointing, a single win simply isn’t good enough from a team that promised so much coming into the 2019 World Cup.
In what is expected to be ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle’s last Cricket World Cup appearance for his country, fans all over the globe will be watching on and hoping that the 39-year-old-sensation can exit cricket’s biggest stage with a bang! The West Indies will be utterly-disappointed with their efforts in this World Cup, injuries to Evin Lewis and superstar all-rounder Andre Russell hasen’t helped their cause either. With nothing to lose, the Windies might look to shake things up a bit and bring back Darren Bravo, Kemar Roach and possibly Evin Lewis if fit. Nicholas Pooran’s maiden-century and Fabian Allen’s brilliance with the bat down the order against Sri Lanka makes for a bright future in Windies cricket, even Shimron Hetmyer has shown glimpses of brilliance throughout the tournament. Afghanistan are also a team full of talent, they just don’t quite know how to utilize it yet. Teenage-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been bowling sensationally of recent, and they’ve also got Rashid Khan up their sleeve which could test the Windies.
There’s no-certainty that the West Indies will walk away from this match with the two points, especially given Afghanistan’s ability to challenge some of the very-best teams in this year’s World Cup. Gulbadin Naib has led by example all tournament for Afghanistan, he’s toiled hard for his wickets with the ball and chipped in with some handy pinch-hitting since elevating himself up the order. Windies-quick Sheldon Cottrell has been extremely-effective with the new ball and could do some major damage early in the innings, the bounce Jason Holder extracts from the pitch may also prove difficult to maneuver from Afghanistan’s perspective.
Top 5 fantasy picks – Afghanistan
- Gulbadin Naib
- Rashid Khan
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman
- Rahmat Shah
- Mohammad Nabi
Wildcard pick – Samiullah Shinwari
Top 5 fantasy picks – West Indies
- Sheldon Cottrell
- Chris Gayle
- Jason Holder
- Shimron Hetmyer
- Shai Hope
Wildcard pick – Fabian Allen
Predicted Team XI’s
Afghanistan (possible) – 1. Rahmat Shah 2. Gulbadin Naib (c) 3. Hashmatullah Shahidi/Hazratullah Zazai 4. Mohammad Nabi 5. Asghar Afghan 6. Najibullah Zadran 7. Samiullah Shinwari 8. Ikram Alikhil (wk) 9. Rashid Khan 10. Hamid Hassan 11. Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
West Indies (possible) – 1. Chris Gayle 2. Evin Lewis/Darren Bravo 3. Shai Hope (wk) 4. Shimron Hetmyer 5. Nicholas Pooran 6. Jason Holder (c) 7. Carlos Brathwaite 8. Fabian Allen 9. Sheldon Cottrell 10. Kemar Roach 11. Oshane Thomas.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.