In the ninth warm-up match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, Afghanistan will lock horns with South Africa at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery 2 in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Afghanistan have been a revelation in the T20 format over the years. However, they have altered their captains way too many times. This time around, Mohammad Nabi, who only takes part in limited-overs cricket, will be leading the team in the World Cup.
Hamid Hassan, who retired from ODI cricket after the 2019 World Cup, has been included in the squad. Mohammad Shahzad, who has been at the forefront of a number of controversies, has made his way into the team as well.
South Africa, led by Temba Bavuma, on the other hand, had a reasonable time of late. They defeated Ireland in the three-match T20I series and then went on to beat West Indies 3-2 in the five-match T20I series. Quinton de Kock became the leading run-scorer of the series.
The focus will also be on left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who is currently ICC’s No.1 ranked bowler in T20Is. The tweaker was the Player of the Series in the Caribbean series. Skipper Bavuma is also recovering from a thumb injury that he suffered during the Sri Lanka T20Is.
Match: Afghanistan vs South Africa, 9th Match, ICC T20 World Cup 2021 Warm-up games
Date and Time: October 18th 2021; Monday, 03:30 PM IST.
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery 2, Abu Dhabi.
Conditions will be sunny and there is no chance of rain. The temperature will be around the 34-degree Celsius mark with the humidity in the 20s.
The pitch in Abu Dhabi hasn’t been a belter for batting by any means. The bowlers are likely to make hay under the sun. Run-making may not be all that easy.
Afghanistan have a strong squad at their disposal. The likes of Rashid Khan, Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have plenty of experience playing in the T20 format. The Afghans also have a power-packed batting unit, consisting of Gurbaz, Zazai and others.
Mohammad Nabi (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hamid Hassan, Fareed Ahmad, Naveen Ul Haq.
South Africa are likely to depend heavily on Quinton de Kock at the top of the order. Aiden Markram is also in pretty good form with the bat in hand. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have breathed fire in recent times and will be looking to make a mark.
Temba Bavuma (c), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, W Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen
Note: All 15 players in the squad will get a chance to bat/bowl in warm-up matches.
South Africa are in decent form, having won three T20I series in a row coming into the World Cup. They are expected to win the match.
TV and live streaming details
Live Streaming: N/A
Cricket Fans! Always stay a step ahead and updated by joining our cricket page