As the World Cup fever intensifies, the streets of Chennai are buzzing with excitement for a colossal contest: Afghanistan versus Pakistan. Both teams are struggling near the bottom of the table, which makes each run, wicket, and decision crucial. Afghanistan, who have come close to winning in the past, are eager to secure their first ODI victory against their illustrious neighbours. Every move is like walking on a tightrope for Pakistan, where one mistake could be disastrous. Anticipation is high, setting the stage for a legendary encounter.
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- Afghanistan Vs Pakistan Icc Cricket World Cup 2023 22nd Match Preview 6535d25b14e5bf0001289fe6
Afghanistan vs Pakistan ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: 22nd Match Preview
ICC World Cup • 23 Oct, 2023 • 3,515 Views • ⭐ 5.0
Written by Anand Swami
The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, colloquially known as Chepauk Stadium, in Chennai is famed for its spin-amicable pitches. While seamers might enjoy initial bounce and carry, spinners gain the upper hand as the match progresses, complicating the batting in the latter overs. Given the pitch dynamics, opting to bat first post the toss might be a wise decision. Historically, Chepauk has hosted many a memorable cricketing moment, and this fixture promises yet another. Both teams will surely strategize with the stadium's spinner-friendly reputation in mind.
Form Guide - Afghanistan
Afghanistan has shown mixed fortunes recently, registering a LWLLL in their past five outings. Their memorable win against England was juxtaposed with bouts of inconsistency. The stakes are high; their World Cup progression largely hinges on this clash. Traditionally, Afghanistan has found Pakistan a tough nut to crack, with no ODI wins to their name. The 2019 World Cup's narrow miss still looms large, and this match offers a chance for atonement. The pressure is palpable as Afghanistan seeks to shine on this grand stage.
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Form Guide - Pakistan
Pakistan, with a slightly improved record of LLWWL, still feels the sting of their recent back-to-back losses. They're keen to capitalise on their favourable record against Afghanistan. This added historical context lends another dimension to the imminent clash. The stakes couldn't be higher; a defeat here severely dents their prospects in the World Cup. As Babar Azam captains, strategic acumen will be essential to outmanoeuvre Afghanistan.
Players to Watch
Ikram Alikhil from Afghanistan is the man in form, impressing behind the stumps and with the bat. Meanwhile, Shaheen Afridi remains Pakistan's shining light, especially after his commendable display against Australia. Ikram's recent inclusion against England reaped rewards, while Afridi boasts an impressive average of 15.25 against Afghanistan. Their form could indeed tip the scales for their sides.
Afghanistan's team combines aggressive top-order batsmen with elite spinners. The likes of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Rashid Khan are anticipated to be game-changers. Pakistan, deliberating between Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, and Shadab Khan, may be inclined to switch things up given Usama's recent dip in form. Afghanistan's spinning triumvirate – Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi – are set to challenge Pakistan's batters. Babar Azam's on-the-fly decisions, particularly concerning spin, will be pivotal.
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Pitch and Weather Report
The same pitch used for the Australia-India fixture promises a significant turn. With a heat advisory in Chennai, the team batting first may benefit. With temperatures touching 33°C and 62% humidity, players' stamina will be under scrutiny. The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, famed for nail-biters, is once again the focal point. Hydration and fatigue management will be essential, and adapting to the evolving pitch, especially with spin in focus, might dictate the game's flow.
Ikram Alikhil (wk), Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), Rashid Khan, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mohammad Nabi, Naveen-ul-Haq.
Hasan Ali, Usama Mir, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (capt), Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz/Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf.
The 22nd match, featuring Pakistan and Afghanistan, will be broadcast live on the Star Sports network. Indian enthusiasts can stream it live on the Disney+ Hotstar platform. The showdown is slated for Monday, 23rd October, at 2 pm IST/ 8:30 am GMT at the M Chidambaram Stadium.
Amidst cricketing lore, this fixture promises its rightful berth. Afghanistan, aspiring to rewrite history, and Pakistan, striving to cement their legacy, gear up for a sizzling face-off. Cricket aficionados, brace yourselves for a whirlwind of emotions, high-stakes gambits, and moments that will resonate long after the final delivery. Today, the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium isn't merely a venue; it's the crucible where legends are forged.
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