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Cricket World Cup: Australia v Afghanistan preview

Australia may have started their World Cup campaign with back-to-back losses, but since then they have turned up the heat to win five matches in a row and stand on the brink of sealing a semi-final spot.

That mission can be accomplished should the Baggy Greens defeat Afghanistan in Mumbai on Tuesday.

However, their opponents are not to be taken lightly, as a win for the Afghans would see them move to within touching distance of the last four themselves.

WhatAustralia v Afghanistan
WhereWankhede Stadium, Mumbai
When18:30 (AEST), Tuesday 7th November 2023
How to watchFoxtel, Kayo & 9Now
OddsAustralia 1.22, Afghanistan 4.33

Warner leading batting revival

Having got back on track with a low-scoring five-wicket win over Sri Lanka, Australia have since ramped up their batting efforts.

They made well over 350 in their victories over Pakistan, Netherlands and New Zealand, before 286 all out proved to be enough to defeat holders England by 33 runs in Ahmedabad.

A patient 71 from Marnus Labuschagne was the highest score in that win over England, but in the three previous victories runs at the very top of the order have been key to putting match-winning totals on the board.

David Warner smashed 163 against Pakistan, putting on 259 for the first wicket with Mitch Marsh (121), although the latter headed back to Australia due to family matters, but should return in time to feature in Mumbai.

Warner backed up that knock with 104 against the Dutch, while Glenn Maxwell also registered a century and the all-rounder should return to the fold after a concussion kept him out of the win over England.

Veteran left-hander Warner kept up his fine run of form with 81 against New Zealand, adding 175 for the opening wicket with the fit-again Travis Head, who announced his return with a magnificent 109.

Warner is 4.00 to be Team - Top Batter on Tuesday, with Head available at 4.00, with both batters having suffered relative failures against England.

Both Marsh and Maxwell are expected to be back in the fold and fellow all-rounder Cameron Green has backed both players to step back into the line-up, with he and Marcus Stoinis most likely to make way.

Zampa continues to excel with the ball

The pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and skipper Pat Cummins have done solid jobs in the recent run of wins, although they did go round the park in the high-scoring victory over New Zealand, which Australia won by a mere five runs after making 388 all out when batting first.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa took 3-74 in that victory, while his figures against Pakistan, Netherlands and England were 4-53, 4-8 and 3-21 respectively.

Having come into the tournament struggling for form, Zampa has rediscovered his mojo and is the now the figurehead of the Aussie bowling attack, having taken a tournament-leading 19 wickets to date.

That is five more than any other spinner in the competition, with seamers somewhat surprisingly dominating the leading wicket-takers.

Zampa has taken four wickets in an innings three times, with India paceman Mohammed Shami the only other bowler to match that feat.

The 31-year-old is 1.53 to take over 1.5 wickets against Afghanistan, while he is 2.62 to take 3+ wickets at the Wankhede Stadium.

Three out of three for Australia

Australia have only faced Afghanistan three times previously in one-day internationals and have won all three of those encounters.

Their most recent meeting came at the 2019 World Cup, when the Baggy Greens won by seven wickets at Bristol, with Warner making 89 not out and Zampa taking 3-60.

Warner had previously smashed 178 when Afghanistan were thrashed by 275 runs at the 2015 World Cup, while the first ODI between these two sides came in Sharjah in 2012, when Australia won by 66 runs.

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