Australia National Cricket Team
Australia National Cricket Team. Pic Credits: Twitter.

AUS vs AFG, Australia Playing XI vs Afghanistan (Predicted), ICC T20 World Cup 2022, Match 38. Australia will play against Afghanistan in the 38th Match in Adelaide at 1:30 pm IST on 4th November, Friday. Australia’s win over Ireland has moved them level with New Zealand at the top of Group 1 having played a game more, but all teams could still mathematically qualify.

The tournament hosts and defending champions (ICC T20 World Cup 2021 winner) are firmly back in the mix to qualify for the semi-finals with one game against Afghanistan to play. The margin of victory against Ireland has improved their Net Run Rate, but not as much as it looked like it would at one stage.

Australia, 2021 T20 World Cup Champions
Australia, 2021 T20 World Cup Champions Image Credits: Twitter

Australia lost its opening match against New Zealand by 89 runs but then defeated Sri Lanka by 7 wickets while the match against England was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain. Australia then defeated Ireland by 42 runs.

After being asked to bat, Australia recovered from a slow start thanks to a half-century stand between Aaron Finch and Mitchell Marsh. But Ireland made regular incisions and Australia only brought up their 100 in the 14th over. It was then that Marcus Stoinis and Aaron Finch lashed out, against a hapless Mark Adair, whose third over cost 26 runs, to put Australia within sight of 200. The pair shared 70 runs for the fourth wicket before Ireland hauled them back at the death to keep them under 180.

Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch. Pic Credits: Twitter.

Importantly for Australia, Aaron Finch notched up his highest score in T20Is since March 2021 and his highest in T20 World Cups since 2014.  Ireland were 25 for 5 before Lorcan Tucker and Gareth Delany got together for a sixth-wicket stand of 43. Lorcan Tucker ensured Ireland were not dismissed for any record-lows or bowled out for 104 or less (which would have put Australia’s net run rate higher than England’s). He scored his fifth T20I half-century and was eventually stranded on 71*.

Australia 179 for 5 (Finch 63, McCarthy 3-29) beat Ireland 137 (Tucker 71*, Maxwell 2-14) by 42 runs

Australia are not only the defending Men’s ICC T20 World Cup 2021 champions but also the hosts of this mega event- ICC T20 World Cup 2022, and so understandably was one of the favorites entering this tournament. Their confidence was also sky-high thanks to playing some exciting cricket in this format since the tournament’s last edition.

But the Aussies were brought down to earth by their Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand on the first weekend of the Super 12 stage in ICC T20 World Cup 2022, as New Zealand completely outplayed them in their opening match. It wasn’t just the result that was the issue but also the performance; the bowling lacked penetration and the batting unit collapsed under pressure. This was Australia’s second loss on the trot following their defeat to India in the warm-up match.

Tim Southee and Trent Boult
Tim Southee and Trent Boult Image Source: Twitter

New Zealand registered its first win in Australia in any format since 2011. New Zealand defeated Australia by 89 runs in the first Super 12 match. Tim Southee (3/6) was the one who started the Aussie downfall with his figures. Mitchell Santner (3/31) owned the middle phase with his spell. Trent Boult (2/24) took care of the tail. Earlier, Devon Conway (92*) and Finn Allen (42) helped New Zealand to put on 200/3 after being put into bat first by Australia in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 match.

New Zealand 200 for 3 (Conway 92*, Allen 42) beat Australia 111 (Maxwell 28, Southee 3-6, Santner 3-31) by 89 runs

All-rounder Marcus Stoinis smoked an unbeaten 18-ball 59 as he powered Australia to a comfortable 7-wicket win over Sri Lanka in ICC T20 World Cup 2022 Group 1 match. Chasing a par 158, Australia crossed the finish line with 21 balls to spare.

Marcus Stoinis
Marcus Stoinis. Pic Credits: Twitter.

Australia needed 69 off 46 balls when Marcus Stoinis walked in, and there was potential for this to be a low-scoring thriller. But then the all-rounder muscled six sixes and four fours in an 18-ball innings, in which he basically bullied every ball he faced. He hit Australia’s fastest T20I half-century, off 17 deliveries, and ended up making 59 not out, at a strike rate of 328.

Australia 158 for 3 (Stoinis 59*, Finch 31*) beat Sri Lanka 157 for 6 (Nissanka 40, Asalanka 38*, Starc 1-23) by seven wickets

Australia finished their bowling innings against Ireland with Matthew Wade handed the captaincy reins, while they required three separate substitute fielders for skipper Aaron Finch (right hamstring twinge), Tim David (left hamstring), and Marcus Stoinis (also hamstring).

Early signs suggested Aaron Finch’s injury was of the most concern for the defending T20 world champions given the 35-year-old’s history of hamstring injuries. While he earned the Player of the Match for scoring a 44-ball 63, he also sustained a hamstring injury. Even though Aaron Finch took the field in the second innings, he then pulled up sore after a running effort.

AUS vs AFG, Australia Playing XI vs Afghanistan (Predicted), ICC T20 World Cup 2022, Match 38

David Warner

David Warner
David Warner Image Source: Twitter

David Warner, the Man of the Series in the last 2021 T20I World Cup where he amassed 289 runs in 7 innings averaging 48.17 and batted at a strike rate of 146.7 has a career strike rate of 140 plus and an average of about 33. He continued his form in the next bilateral series against Sri Lanka and West Indies and was rested for the India series. He also scored 73 in the opening T20I against England.

He though hasn’t shown form in the T20 World Cup 2022, managing only 19 runs in 3 T20Is averaging 6.33. He scored only 5 against the Kiwis, 11 against Sri Lanka, and 3 against Ireland.

Cameron Green, the pace all-rounder was given the task to open for Australia against India in absence of rested David Warner, and he gave selectors a selection headache after scoring 118 runs in 3 innings averaging 39.33 at a strike rate of 214.55. He may not be in the playing XI with David Warner returning. He has also taken 5 scalps in 7 T20Is averaging 33.

Aaron Finch

Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch. (Photo: BCCI)

Aaron Finch will lead Australia in the 2022 T20I World Cup. He led the team to their maiden 2021 T20I World Cup trophy as well. He retired from the ODI-50 overs format but has found some form heading into the T20I World Cup 2022. He failed in the series against India (average of 20) but scored the fifties -1 each against Pakistan (55), Sri Lanka (61*), and West Indies (58) in bilateral engagements.

Aaron Finch has amassed 107 runs in 3 T20Is averaging 53.5 in T20 World Cup 2022. He scored 13 against New Zealand, 31* against Sri Lanka, and 63 against Ireland. But he injured himself in the last game against Ireland. The likes of Cameron Green and Steve Smith will replace skipper Aaron Finch if he’s still unfit for the game against Afghanistan.

Mitchell Marsh

Mitchell Marsh
Mitchell Marsh (Image Credit: Twitter)

All-rounder Mitchell Marsh had an excellent 2021 T20I World Cup in UAE where he amassed 2 fifties and scored 185 runs in 5 innings averaging 61.67. Post the World Cup, he had a poor outing with the bat against Sri Lanka and West Indies in T20Is and was also injured. Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh was ruled out of the ODI Series against Zimbabwe and New Zealand with a “minor” ankle complaint.

He didn’t feature in the India T20I series as he was rested and scored 36 in the 1st T20I and 45 in the 2nd T20I against England but both went in vain. He also didn’t pick a scalp in T20Is since the 2021 series in and against West Indies, although his bowling average is 23.2. His form is a concern for Australia, as he has managed only 62 runs averaging 20.67 in 3 T20Is in T20 World Cup 2022.

Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell. Image: ICC

Glenn Maxwell hasn’t been able to score a half-century this year. His recent form is just as bad, with Glenn Maxwell making 6, 0, and 1 on the recent tour of India. His last 6 innings scores read 1,0,6 (vs India), 0, 1 (vs West Indies), and 8 (vs England) before the T20 World Cup 2022.

Skipper Aaron Finch has already dropped himself to the number 4 spot and with Steve Smith already struggling, it is imperative that Glenn Maxwell finds his mojo and gets back amongst the runs. He was rested for the 1st T20I against England and scored only 8 off 11 balls in the 2nd T20I against England. He has managed only 64 runs averaging 21.33 in 3 T20Is in T20 World Cup 2022.

Marcus Stoinis

Marcus Stoinis
Marcus Stoinis (Image Credit: Twitter)

Unlike Steve Smith and Tim David, Marcus Stoinis has the added string to his bow of being a handy bowler but the value of his medium-pacers is often overstated. He’s been dogged by a side strain in recent months. Marcus Stoinis is actually only two months younger than fellow 33-year-old Steve Smith. Sadly he has never lived up to his potential and has spent his international career going in and out of the Australian white-ball sides.

With rising star Cameron Green set to be a three-format force, Marcus Stoinis’ time in the national set-up could be coming to an end sooner rather than later. In the ODI arena, a ton in Auckland is his only three-figure score and he’s only produced six half-centuries, the most recent in 2019, despite being given plenty of opportunities as injuries and indifferent form have held him back.

His T20 returns are even more erratic although his strike rate of 144.49 is world-class. He has scored only 2 fifties in T20Is with the last one coming against Sri Lanka in T20 World Cup 2022. However, he had career-best figures of 4/34 in the previous T20I against England in a lost cause.

He had managed 101 runs in 3 T20Is in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 averaging 50.5 with scores of 7 against New Zealand, 59* against Sri Lanka, and 35 against Ireland. He also picked 1/6 against Ireland.

Tim David

Tim David
Tim David (Credits: Twitter)

The 26-year-old Tim David, who was born in Singapore, is currently enjoying being a part of the Australian lineup and recorded his maiden half-century for the team during the six-wicket loss to India in Hyderabad. 

He had managed 558 runs in 14 T20Is for Singapore averaging 46.5 at a strike rate of 158.52 and has managed only 182 runs in 11 T20Is averaging only 22.75 but at a strike rate of 162.5 for Australia. He scored 40 in the 2nd T20I against England but it went in vain. He played 2 innings in T20 World Cup 2022 and managed only 26 runs with scores of 11 against New Zealand and 15* against Ireland.

Matthew Wade

Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade. (Photo: Twitter)

Matthew Wade scored a vital unbeaten 41 off only 17 balls at a strike rate of 241.48 which saw eventual champions Australia win the semi-final against Pakistan in the 2021 T20I World Cup.

He continued his form in the India series scoring an unbeaten 45 off 21 balls in the 1st T20I and 43 off 20 balls in the 2nd T20I. He followed it up with another vital 39* off 29 balls in the 1st T20I against Windies and will keep wickets in the 2022 T20I World Cup. He hasn’t got many opportunities and has managed only 9 runs averaging 9 in 3 T20Is (2 innings of 2 and 7*) in the T20 World Cup 2022.

Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins (Image Credit: Twitter)

Pat Cummins, Australia’s Test skipper, had picked 5 scalps in 7 games in the last 2021 T20I World Cup. The pacer had a decent series against West Indies picking 4 scalps in 2 T20Is averaging 13.5 at an economy of 6.7. Pat Cummins made a comeback after being out for more than two months.

He last played for Australia against Sri Lanka in June in ODIs before the India T20I series (the last T20I series against Sri Lanka in February). He didn’t play in Australia’s most recent ODI home series against New Zealand and Zimbabwe. He has picked 3 scalps in as many matches in T20 World Cup 2022 with figures of 1/36 against Sri Lanka and 2/28 against Ireland. He averages 36.67 in this WC.

Adam Zampa

Adam Zampa
Adam Zampa Image Source: Twitter

Adam Zampa may be the sole spinner for Australia in the World Cup. The right-arm leg spinner had a phenomenal outing in the previous 2021 T20I World Cup, where he picked 13 scalps from 7 T20Is averaging 12.08.

Post that, he had a successful outing against Sri Lanka at home in T20Is but hasn’t performed to his expectations in the past few T20I series against Pakistan, India, and West Indies. He has played 2 T20Is against New Zealand and Ireland, missing the one against Sri Lanka due to Covid-19 and illness and has picked 3 scalps averaging 19.33 in ICC T20 World Cup 2022.

Ashton Agar is the other spinner in the squad, who played the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 game against Sri Lanka and picked 1/25.

Josh Hazlewood

Josh Hazlewood. Photo- Getty
Josh Hazlewood. Photo- Getty

Josh Hazlewood, the Australian pacer had a successful outing at the 2021 T20I World Cup where he picked 11 scalps in 7 games averaging 15.91. He picked 8 scalps in 3 T20Is averaging 8.13 and 6 scalps in 3 T20Is  averaging 9.5 against the same opponents in Sri Lanka- home and away. He has picked 3 scalps in as many matches in ICC T20 World Cup 2022 averaging 30.33.

Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc. Image: Twitter

Mitchell Starc had a good 2021 T20I World Cup, where he picked 9 scalps in 7 T20Is averaging 27.56. He had done well against Sri Lanka (3/26 in 1 T20I averaging 8.67) and West Indies. His career-best figures of 4/20 came in the 2nd T20I against West Indies.

He had picked 6 scalps in that series averaging a mere 10. He has picked 3 scalps in as many games in ICC T20 World Cup 2022 averaging 34.