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ICC ODI World Cup 2023: Afghanistan vs. England, 13th Match at Delhi Who will win today’s match between AFG and ENG?

ICC ODI World Cup 2023: Afghanistan vs England 13th Match at Delhi. Who will win today’s match between AFG vs ENG?

Introduction

The high-voltage 13th match of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 will feature a thrilling showdown between Afghanistan and England at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. This Group B encounter pits Afghanistan's rising talents against the formidable world champions England, who have reinvented their ODI approach after the 2015 debacle. With Delhi's pitch traditionally aiding spinners, Afghanistan's tweakers could pose a stiff test for England's explosive batting lineup. But England also have the depth and firepower to run through any opposition. This battle between Afghanistan's raw passion and England's flamboyant skills promises cracking entertainment and an electric atmosphere.

Afghanistan Squad Analysis

Afghanistan's batting wears an aggressive look, with the young opening pair of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran capable of providing blistering starts. Both are fearless strokemakers, especially Gurbaz, who can take any attack apart mercilessly on his day. The experienced duo of Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah lend solidity to the middle order and the classy Najibullah Zadran. Their ability to stabilize the innings and keep the scoreboard ticking will be crucial.

The big-hitting power of Mohammad Nabi and Azmatullah Omarzai provides the ideal firepower in the death overs to propel Afghanistan to big totals. Rashid Khan also packs a powerful punch down the order. Overall, the batting has an excellent fusion of aggression and stability.

England Squad Analysis

England's star-studded batting lineup spells doom for any opposition. The swashbuckling opening pair of Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow can bludgeon any attack into submission on their day. Both are capable of murderous strokeplay and changing gears flexibly. Joe Root is the archetypal anchor who can effortlessly shift gears as required. Ben Stokes provides an explosive counter-attacking option should early wickets fall.

Veterans like Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone lend the ideal power and finesse required in the death overs to propel England to mammoth totals. Harry Brook is another rising batting star waiting in the wings after his spectacular performances of late. This batting order oozes class, experience and versatility, making it hugely intimidating for any opposition.

Delhi Pitch and Conditions

The Kotla track in Delhi has historically favoured slow bowlers, with the ball gripping the surface more as the game progresses. Batting against spin is a tricky challenge on this surface, with the odd delivery keeping dangerously low. But there is decent value for strokes, with the new ball coming nicely onto the bat. Adaptability is key, with stroke making it easier in the first half.

As the pitch gets slower, batters must be prepared to change gears and judiciously rotate the strike while waiting for scoring opportunities. For the quicks, hitting consistent line lengths and getting some movement off the deck with the new ball is crucial before spinners take over. Dew in the evening session aids the chasing team. So, win toss and field first should be the blueprint on this spin-friendly surface.

Key Player Battles

The tussle between Rashid Khan's guile and England's batting firepower will be fascinating. Rashid has the skill set to win games for Afghanistan single-handedly. How England's stellar batting lineup tackles his variations will be crucial.

The raw pace of Naveen-ul-Haq against Jos Buttler's destructive batting is another contest to watch out for. Buttler's ability to clear the ropes effortlessly will be tested against Naveen's speed and accuracy.

Recent Form and Momentum

Both teams come into this Super 12 clash high on confidence after emphatic wins in their opening encounters. Defending champions England crushed Bangladesh despite a minor batting wobble. Afghanistan pulled off an upset against Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka to start their campaign on a sensational note.

England have the greater experience of World Cup pressure games. But Afghanistan has the unpredictability and raw talent to shock more fancied opponents. While England will be riding high on the back of the win over Bangladesh, Afghanistan will be keen to build on their winning momentum. Based solely on recent form, the teams appear very evenly matched.

Head-to-Head Record in ODIs

Regarding historical head-to-head record, England has clearly dominated Afghanistan in One Day Internationals. England has emerged victorious in 5 out of the 6 ODI matches played between the two sides. Afghanistan's only win came in the 2019 World Cup group stage, shocking England by 19 runs.

So, the past ODI record heavily favours England psychologically coming into this match. But records are meant to be broken, and Afghanistan hopes to rewrite history this time. England's heavy historical edge adds extra spice to the contest.

Match Prediction

England starts outright favourites to clinch this Super 12 contest, given their squad's intimidating firepower and depth. Their batting lineup has the ammo to bludgeon any opposition into surrender. But the spin-friendly Delhi surface brings Afghanistan right back into contention.

If Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman hit the right lengths, England's vulnerability against quality slow bowling could be exposed again. Afghanistan also has plenty of talented match-winners like Gurbaz, Zadran and Omarzai, who can take the game away on their day.

But England's big-match temperament and experience under Eoin Morgan cannot be discounted. This will likely be a closely fought nail-biter. Afghanistan can produce an upset, but England should eventually prevail, banking on the genius of Stokes and the depth in their ranks.

Summary

This high-stakes Group B clash will pit a passionate Afghanistan team against formidable world champions England. While England appears stronger on paper, the spin-friendly Delhi surface brings Afghanistan into play. England's historical domination in ODIs favours them, but Afghanistan has the unpredictability to shock them. A thriller could be on the cards, but England should clinch it unless their batters crumble against Afghanistan's spin force.

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