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CWC 2019 – Australia v Afghanistan: 5 key talking points

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

Australia v Afghanistan: 5 key talking points. AUS vs AFG CWC 2019 5 key talking points

Ahead of Bangladesh’s game against South Africa, Afghanistan became the first Asian team to cross 200 at this World Cup. This was at the third attempt, after more experienced Pakistan and Sri Lanka crumbled in what were nothing short of horrific batting displays.

Australia won comfortably in the end, but Afghanistan had plenty to be positive about. Below are five key talking points from the match, also looking forward to these two teams’ next matches.

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1. Afghanistan will soon win their second World Cup match

Afghanistan participated in their first World Cup in 2015, another chapter in what is an incredible story. Just over a decade ago, they beat Jersey in the Final of the World Cricket League Division Five tournament. Since then, they have gone from strength-to-strength, and yesterday’s batting effort against a good attack was another fine little episode in a show better than anything on Netflix (for the cricket fans, at least).

They won their first ever World Cup match in 2015, sparking joyous scenes. After yesterday’s performance, you can count on Afghanistan winning again. Soon. After losing two very early wickets, Afghanistan could have feared the worst. However, the efforts of Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah Zadran were outstanding, and should give the team and their fans plenty of hope that they can compete throughout the campaign.

Australia v Afghanistan: 5 key talking points. AUS vs AFG CWC 2019 5 key talking points. Cricket World Cup 2019
Image: Yahoo Cricket. Australia v Afghanistan: 5 key talking points – Afghanistan fought well

2. Rahmat Shah is a fine player

Before we talk more about Australia, Rahmat Shah is a player that deserves some focus. He didn’t top score for Afghanistan yesterday, and also fell at a crucial time, but how he weathered the early storm and got Afghanistan into the game was terrific.

Technically, he is superb. His strokeplay off his pads is a sight to behold, so too his offside play, waiting for the ball to get to him. The big hitting of Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib and Rashid Khan was outstanding, but Rahmat is truly Afghanistan’s best batsman. He averages 36.50 in 62 ODIs, and you get the feeling that will continue to rise. If he is in the runs this tournament, teams better watch out for Afghanistan.

3. Rival fans, please continue booing David Warner and Steve Smith

There is no doubt that what Steve Smith and David Warner coordinated in Cape Town last year was a disgrace. They let the team and fans down, taking for granted what it means to play for Australia. I was seething.

However, they have served their punishments. They are back, and they look very hungry. The boos from fans, predominantly England’s, will only serve to spur Smith and Warner on further. Warner’s 89* is priceless time at the crease. Smith scored 89*, 91*, 76 and 116 in his four lead-up games to the World Cup. There is no doubt Australia will be looking to continue their form, having now won nine straight ODIs. These two will be key to that, and will be keen to spoil the mood of rival fans.

Australia v Afghanistan: 5 key talking points. AUS vs AFG CWC 2019 5 key talking points. Cricket World Cup 2019
Australia v Afghanistan: 5 key talking points – Keep booing Warner and Smith!
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4. In-form Aaron Finch, happy Australia

One of the biggest concerns in the first few months of 2019 was the form of Aaron Finch. Would he be the one to miss out when Smith and Warner come back? Is it right changing a captain just before a World Cup? If yes, who would captain the side?

Since his duck against India in Hyderabad, Finch has scored 674 runs in 10 innings at an average of 74.89 and strike rate of 87.41. His form has created a headache as to who partners him at the top, but there is no doubt that a firing Finch adds another dimension to Australia’s quest for a sixth World Cup crown. He enabled Warner to get settled in this game against Afghanistan, which helped set a fine platform. If Australia set a strong platform in more games than not, they will be mighty tough to beat.

Australia v Afghanistan: 5 key talking points. AUS vs AFG CWC 2019 5 key talking points. Cricket World Cup 2019
Australia v Afghanistan: 5 key talking points – Aaron Finch is in some fine touch

5. Australia have good bowling depth

When wickets were the need of the hour as Afghanistan were 160/5, Marcus Stoinis delivered. His two wickets just steadied Australia as Afghanistan were taking the attack. After Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, two bowlers who can still go another level, started well, Australia continued to pick up wickets at regular intervals.

No disrespect to Afghanistan, but this was expected. The test for the likes of Adam Zampa will be to bowl economically and take wickets against the more experienced teams. He bowled a few too many loose balls. Aaron Finch has bench strength to turn to (i.e. Lyon, Behrendhorff), as well as the two all-rounders (Maxwell, Stoinis) who can chip in with vital overs.


So, a win for Australia, as expected. For Afghanistan, there was plenty to be encouraged about. They play struggling Sri Lanka on Tuesday, whereas Australia play a potential blockbuster against West Indies on Thursday.

Thanks for reading!

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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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