South Africa - Afghanistan World T20 Preview: Both teams looking to bounce back after losses in their first game

Both sides cannot afford to lose a second consecutive game in group, so who will come out on top?

South Africa - Afghanistan World T20 Preview: Both teams looking to bounce back after losses in their first game
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South Africa take on Afghanistan in the fourth match in the Super 10's stage in Group 1, with both teams looking to get their first win in the group after both lost their first games. The match is crucial for both teams prospects in this year's World T20 and it takes place on Sunday at 9.30 AM UK time in Mumbai.

The Proteas go into the game as big favourites but in these competitions, it is sometimes not as straightforward as that. It is a big game for South Africa after they lost their first match against England by two wickets. The South Africans batted first and put a mammoth total on the board of 229-4 but failed to defend it. There was huge disappointment within the whole team and now they know that they must bounce back quickly or they could be out quicker than they thought. The Proteas came into the group stages thinking that this game would the easiest of the four but not it has now become a massive game as they can no longer allow any slip ups.

The Afghan's themselves lost their first game in the group against Sri Lanka by six wickets. The performance though of the team during the game was fantastic as they really pushed the Sri Lankans all of the way to show they are no pushovers. Afghanistan are an ever improving team and they will be looking to spring a surprise against the Proteas. Afghanistan qualified for the group stages with three wins from three and are probably the best associate team at the minute and with how they play their cricket, they will run a lot of teams close.

Previous meetings

The Proteas came up against Afghanistan back in the 2010 World T20 in the West Indies where they won the game by a massive 59 runs. South Africa batted first and made 139-7 and in reply bowled the Afghan team out for 80. The game tomorrow is expected to a much more high-scoring game with 824 runs already being scored in four innings at the ground. 

Key Players

Ab De Villiers - When you think about the South African team you look no further than Ab de Villiers. The man is a superstar and is a player that neutral watchers want to see perform on the big stage every game. De Villiers didn't get the big score against England in the firsts core that he would have wanted but showed his intent from when he got to the crease that he plans to be his dominant self in the tournament. 

Asghar Stanikzai - The captain is really a star for his side and he proved he has what it takes in big games to make important runs. Stanikzai scored a brilliant 62(47) against Sri Lanka to propel his team to a decent score. The half-century against the Sri Lankans was his second of the tournament proving why he is the captain of a growing side in the international game. The captain will be hoping that he can keep up his good form against the Proteas as the whole team will need play at their best to come close to beating a very strong team.

Stanikzai in action during his half-century versus Sri Lanka | Photo: Getty Images
Stanikzai in action during his half-century versus Sri Lanka | Photo: Getty Images

Team News 

South Africa 

The South African selectors have a lot to ponder ahead of the game especially with the fast bowlers being so expensive in the first game against England. One bowler who is under the most scrutiny is Chris Morris who got smashed to all parts by the English batsmen. David Wiese could be the bowler to come into the team to replace him. 

South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wk), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese.


Gulbadin Naib was dropped for the first game due to poor form for Karim Sadiq. Sadiq though also had a very poor game so it is likely that Naib will come straight back into the team. There may also be some decisions to make in terms of how the pitch will play and the likely change could a fast bowler coming into the team for one of the spinners.

Afghanistan squad: Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Usman Ghani, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Sadiq, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Rashid Khan, Ameer Hamza, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Hamid Hassan.