South Africa vs. Afghanistan is more of a practice match for SA than a real contest. SA outclass Afghanistan in all departments whether it batting, bowling or fielding. Due to the change in format of the WC, each team will have to face all other teams at least once throughout the tournament. SA taking on Afghanistan may not be an even match but each contest will determine the course of this WC. Afghanistan may not be a strong opposition but they can surely restrict your chances of making it to the semi-finals. As such, they are not to be taken lightly.
SA and Afghanistan are two opposite teams when it comes to stats as well as performance and quality. SA have been a full member of the ICC since 1909, more than a century before Afghanistan came into the spotlight. Afghanistan is a minnow team who just received full member status in 2018 thus, they’re no threat to any big teams. SA and Afghanistan have never played with one another. They’re such a little team that SA haven’t even bothered to play against them. They’re no threat to a strong experienced side like SA. Underestimating any team can be disastrous for one’s self, but Afghanistan are the weakest side of this WC. Winning is not just enough for SA at this point. They’ll be eyeing total annihilation. SA need to completely decimate Afghanistan to propel their net run rate. Afghanistan, on the other hand, can only do damage control. If they hold themselves off against a side like SA, it’ll certainly boost their confidence for further major events and they’ll be able to earn the respect of the world. SA currently stand at No. 4 spot in ICC ODI rankings while Afghanistan is at the bottom of the list.
Afghanistan will have to go through their toughest challenger yet as they face off South Africa in the WC at the following date and venue:
- Date: 15th June 2019
- Venue: Cardiff Stadium, Wales
- Time: 5:30 PM Pakistan Time (D/N)
Odds don’t favor Afghanistan one bit. They haven’t faced a side as formidable as SA throughout their history. They’re oblivious to how ferocious a side SA can be. They have little to no knowledge about how SA execute their game plan and how they perform on field. A better option for them would be to bowl first and restrict SA to a score so that they know what they have to chase. This pitch has traditionally helped leg-spinners and Afghanistan have the best leg-spin bowler Rashid Khan in their side. If he can pick up early wickets, it’ll certainly be a plus point for Afghanistan. Meanwhile, SA will be pretty comfortable taking on a much weaker side and they’ll be planning to destroy the Afghan side in order to improve the net run rate.
Without a doubt, SA have this contest won even before the match starts. Afghanistan will need a miracle to defeat such a strong side. There’s a huge psychological factor involved in this contest and pressure will be on Afghanistan because they need to perform good on the day. Honestly, this match is nothing but two easy points for SA.