ICC World T20: Resurgent England face ever-improving Afghanistan on the road to clinch semis berth

New Delhi: Their campaign back on track with a stunning win over South Africa, a resurgent England would be looking to plug their bowling loopholes when they take on an ever-improving Afghanistan in a Super 10 Group 1 match of the ICC World Twenty20 on Wednesday.

After being bruised and battered by Chris Gayle in the six-wicket defeat to West Indies in their tournament-opener, England, facing a must-win situation, rode on Joe Root's class act to register a close two-wicket win against South Africa in a high-scoring encounter to keep their hopes alive.

Chasing a mammoth 230-run target, Root single-handedly got England over the line with a thundering 83 off 44 balls.

ICC World T20: Resurgent England face ever-improving Afghanistan on the road to clinch semis berth

England players Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. Solaris

If not for Root's heroics, England would have been virtually out of the tournament after their bowling department leaked runs for a second consecutive match.

And even though they start as favourites against Afghanistan, England would be aware that their bowlers would have to put up an improved performance.

The 2010 champions' under-fire bowlers and fielders will be up against a potent if not marauding Afghanistan batting line-up that gave Australia a scare in their last match.

The performance of England's opening pace duo of David Willey and Reece Topley can be termed horrendous against South Africa the other day as they sprayed the ball on both sides of the wicket to concede huge runs.

The likes of Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes too were very expensive.

The spin duo of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid looked good even though they too went for runs and the key for England would be how effectively this pair performs.

If England want to alter their pace combination they have Liam Plunkett, a late replacement for the injured Steve Finn, to call upon.

England's batting has been satisfactory so far in the tournament with Root leading from the front.

However, they need a collective batting effort from the likes of Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Stokes, Jos Buttler and skipper Eoin Morgan to make themselves a potent force in the tournament.


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Updated Date: Mar 23, 2016 13:57:34 IST

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