New Zealand and Afghanistan are set to take on each other in match No. 16 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on Wednesday, October 18. While the two teams take each other on the playing field, the fantasy cricket managers have a chance to pick their favourite players and form their teams.
The performance of the players on the field will translate to points for each fantasy team picked, and the manager with the team with the most points stands a chance to win attractive prizes.
Afghanistan are heading into this fixture on the back of a terrific win against England. A comprehensive all-round performance saw them beat the defending champions by 69 runs. Mujeeb Ur Rahman starred for Afghanistan with the bat and ball (28, 3/51), while Rahmanullah Gurbaz (80 off 57 balls), Ikram Alikhil (58 off 66 balls) and Rashid Khan (3/37) chipped in with crucial contributions.
New Zealand, on the other hand, are unbeaten in the ongoing World Cup, having defeated England, Netherlands and Bangladesh so far. In their last match, despite beating Bangladesh comfortably, the Kiwis suffered a setback as a finger injury ruled out Kane Williamson indefinitely from the tournament.
Williamson (78 off 107 balls) and Daryll Mitchell (89* off 67 balls) starred in the run chase for New Zealand, who got to the 248-run target in 42.5 overs and won by eight wickets. With the ball, Lockie Ferguson had picked up three wickets.
There’s plenty at stake for both teams, who will be eager to maintain their momentum. Now we can take a look at all the information needed to form the best possible fantasy team.
Probable Playing XIs
New Zealand:Devon Conway, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Tom Latham (C & wk), Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Afghanistan:Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Weather and pitch report
The pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium has historically been slow and spin-friendly. The average score batting first at this venue is 224 and so far in the tournament, batters have found it difficult to negate the spin threat. The weather conditions might pose a challenge in the early hours for both these teams, with the temperature ranging between 26 to 32 degrees Celsius.
NZ v AFG Fantasy XI
Wicket-keepers: Devon Conway, Rahmanullah Gurbaz
Batters: Hashmatullah Shahidi, Daryll Mitchell, Glenn Phillips
All-rounders: Mohammad Nabi, Mitchell Santner, Rachin Ravindra
Bowlers: Matt Henry, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Among the keeping options, Devon Conway (229 runs in three matches) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (148 runs in three matches) have been in brilliant form with the bat this tournament and both batters open for their respective teams.
Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi gets a nod among batters. From the Kiwi players, Daryl Mitchell is in terrific form this tournament, scoring 137 runs in three matches at an impressive strike rate of 120.18. Glenn Phillips is another decent batting option in your fantasy XI.
We have gone with three all-rounders in the fantasy XI – Mohammad Nabi, Mitchell Santner and Rachin Ravindra. All three are capable spinners as well and considering the conditions in Chennai, they can provide crucial points with the ball. Rachin Ravindra also bats at the top of the order and so far has scored 183 runs in three matches.
Matt Henry has great experience in bowling in slow conditions and picked up three wickets at the same venue last match. Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who picked up eight wickets between themselves, can be very productive on this pitch.
Captain: Devon Conway
Devon Conway is in sensational form with the bat and also registered the highest individual score in this tournament so far (152 vs England). He also has the experience of playing in these conditions, making him a terrific option for captaincy.
Vice-captain: Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan is one of the most potent all-rounders in world cricket. Besides taking five wickets with the bat, he has also chipped in with vital cameos in the tournament so far.
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