The match is scheduled for Wednesday, 18th October at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
Afghanistan’s unexpected triumph over England has injected a fresh wave of excitement into the 2023 Cricket World Cup. Not only has it stirred the points table, but it has also demonstrated Afghanistan’s potential to outplay any team in the tournament.
What’s encouraging for Afghanistan is that their first ODI victory since July 2023 was a team effort rather than a one-man show. With Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s fiery start, Ikram Alikhil’s resilience during the middle overs, and crucial all-round performances from Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, they have shown their depth.
However, New Zealand is not a team to be taken lightly. Despite losing Kane Williamson to a finger fracture during their match against Bangladesh, the Black Caps have had an impressive tournament run. Their three victories have been decisive, and their players have been in top form.
New Zealand Squad:
Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.
Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen ul Haq.
Players to Watch
New Zealand – Daryl Mitchell
With Williamson’s absence confirmed for the next few matches, the onus is on the New Zealand middle-order to step up. Daryl Mitchell, with an average of 50.52 in ODIs, has been a reliable contributor for the Kiwis. His recent form, including an unbeaten 89 off 67 against Bangladesh, bodes well for New Zealand. They will be hoping he continues his good run in their upcoming match in Chennai.
Afghanistan – Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Mujeeb was instrumental in Afghanistan’s upset win over England, contributing with both bat and ball. His three wickets, especially those during the middle overs, disrupted England’s chase. Known for his versatility and adaptability, Mujeeb is expected to play a key role in the upcoming match in Chennai. If the pitch turns out to be slow, his off-spin could be a game-changer.