England play their third game in the World T20 Super 10s stage in Group 1 against Afghanistan looking to build on their big win against South Africa last time out. The match takes place at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Dehli on Wednesday at 9.30 AM UK time.
England come into the game as favourites but the game is a must win as from they have only got two points from their two games so far and are in a need of another crucial win to keep up their chances of a semi-final place. England lost their first game against the West Indies after posting a score beyond 180. Chris Gayle scored a brilliant 100 to beat England, a defeat that gave England an early setback. The second game against South Africa then took on added significance as a second loss would mean England would nearly be out of the competition already. South Africa batted first and made a huge score of 229 and it looked like England would get nowhere near that when they had to bat. The English batsmen though led by Joe Root chased down a record score by two wickets to breath new life into the whole team.
Afghanistan will play their sixth game in the tournament after going through the qualifiers with three wins. In the group stages so far they have lost both of their games which leaves them bottom of the group and in need of a win if they want to have any chance of going through. In their first game, they lost by six wickets to Sri Lanka. The second game saw them come up against South Africa and they got beaten by 37 runs. Afghanistan put up a really brave effort against the Proteas but, in the end, chasing 210 was too much for them to get. The Afghan team are on the rise and they will be up for the chance to try and get one over England as they don't get to play them too often.
These teams last met in the World T20 tournament in Sri Lanka were England came out on top by a huge margin of 116 runs. England batted first in the game and made a massive score of 196-5, largely down to Luke Wright who made 99 not out. In reply, Afghanistan were bowled out 80 in a game they would have been disappointed with themselves in. Since then though Afghanistan have made huge strides and are probably the best associate team now and they will want to prove how far they have come in four years
Joe Root - Root is the most important player in the team and he is showing that by how he has done in the past two games in the tournament with scores of 48 and 83. Root has been the most consistent player for England in all formats over the last couple of years and he will be hoping to keep up his good form to help his team get through to the semi-finals.
Mohammed Shahzad - Shahzad is a player that the England players will know can cause real damage to any team. The opener showed against South Africa with his blistering 44(19) that he can do it against the bigger teams. Shahzad is one of the more experienced players in the Afghan team and his importance is massive to the team.
England have an injury concern with Alex Hales who is struggling with back pain and it is unsure whether he will play the game. James Vince is the likely replacement for Hales if he does miss out and he will be hoping he can take his chance. Another key thing to consider is how the England bowlers have been really expensive so far and some of them could be dropped. Liam Dawson is an option to come into the team if England want to go with an extra spinner.
Possible team: Vince, Roy, Root, Morgan, Stokes, Buttler, Ali, Jordan, Willey, Rashid, Topley
Afghanistan are unlikely to make any change to their team after how close they ran South Africa in their last game. Amir Hamza came in last game and should be retained as he will be suited to the pitch in Dehli and along with Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi they could be important against England.
Possible team: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Shamiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Amir Hamza, Shapoor Zadran.