Afghanistan made it out of their group at the Asia Cup, aceing low chases against first Sri Lanka and then Bangladesh.
But they then found the next round a little too hot to handle, losing all three matches to Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India respectively.
It’s been clear for a while that their strength lies very much in their bowling where Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi provide excellent spin options. Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen Ul-Haq are pretty decent in the pace department.
But their batting can be a bit flaky and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bat Rashid Khan at five or six, let him be as aggressive if he likes and look for some quick runs that way.
The worst that can happen is that he gets out after a couple of balls with little harm done but it’s worth the risk because he’s probably their best boundary-hitter.
At the time of writing, they’ve played just the one warm-up match since the Asia Cup so may come into this a bit rusty.
Afghanistan’s Likely XI
Zazai, Gurbaz, I Zadran, K Janat, N Zadran, M Nabi, Omarzai, Khan, Mujeeb, Ul Haq, Farooqi.
England vs Afghanistan Head-to-Head
The England v Afghanistan head-to-head shows England are 2-0 up.
That’s not a big sample at all of course but though they are both regulars at World Cups, it’s not often the Afghans play the biggest sides outside WCs.
To make that head-to-head a little more irrelevant, they haven’t played each other since England defended 142 at the 2016 World Cup.
Their other game saw England post a huge 196 back in 2012 and bowl Afghanistan out for just 80.
Venue & conditions
It’s with remembering that Perth Stadium was revamped and completed in early 2018, which is why there have only been two international matches played there.
Back in 2019, Pakistan managed just 106/8 with Australia making a mockery of that total by chasing it without losing a wicket.
But just last week England made a mockery of that total themselves when scoring 208 against Australia and only winning by a margin of eight runs.
So two very different matches that don’t shed much light on what the par score might be.
But it would be no surprise if the team winning the toss decided to bat first.
There’s about a 15% chance of rain so there’s an outside chance of a few overs being lost but the forecast in Perth isn’t nearly as bad as it is for Australia v New Zealand in Sydney.
So the smart money is on there being a full game with this one.