Will England be able to take on Afghanistan with two of its hitters injured?
While every other team faced a grumpy weather during the ongoing World Cup, England remains untouched. However, as the hosts are all set to take on the underdogs Afghanistan on Tuesday (June 18), the Met department has some bad news for the players.
England is scheduled to play Afghanistan at Old Trafford, Manchester at 3 PM on Tuesday (June 18).
After England’s match against West Indies, two of its major run getters — opener Jason Roy and skipper Eoin Morgan — underwent scans for their injuries. While Roy has been ruled out for the next two matches, Morgan is said to be recovering well and may take part in today’s match. Scans confirmed that Roy has suffered a hamstring tear and Morgan had back spasms.
England is not ready to replace Roy yet as the degree of severity of his tear is not confirmed. If they outright replace him, in the later stages of the tournament, as per ICC rules, they won’t be able to bring him back.
Though, the defeat to Pakistan was not scripted, an easy win against West Indies was a good sign for England.
Today, James Vince is expected to join his partner Jonny Bairstow and for the middle-order, Liam Plunkett is yet to make a comeback from his stomach bug illness.
Afghanistan looks in much disarray as the squad saw a drop from playing good cricket to just losing every match. In their previous match, they dropped their leading run scorer Najbullah Zadran to accommodate Asghar Afghan.
However, the England captain Eoin Morgan has admitted in a press conference that facing Afghani spinners will be a challenge, also on a pitch where Indian spinners pick up some good wickets against Pakistan.
In their previous encounter, England had won by nine wickets after chasing 161 at the Oval.
Toss Prediction: Half of Monday (June 17), the pitch at Manchester spent under covers which means rain might interrupt the game today. The team that wins the toss should be focusing on batting first.
Probable XI: James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood/Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid
Probable XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib (capt), Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil (WK), Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan