Afghanistan win toss, decide to bat against Australia (Lead, correcting headline)

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Bristol, June 1 (IANS) Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib won the toss and opted to bat against Australia in their campaign opener of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at the County Ground here on Saturday.

At the toss, Naib: We are gonna bat first. Looks a good wicket, flat as well and we have three spinners. Hence, we’re batting first and hoping to put a good score on the board. Yes, they (Australia) are a champion side and we need to start well against them. (On playing three spinners) Everyone knows about the spinners of Afghanistan, all of them are experience and skilled – Nabi, Mujeeb and Rashid.

Finch: I would have batted first as well, looks a good wicket to put runs on the board. Not that hard on top and hopefully, we can get some movement early on. (On Khawaja over Marsh) Usman’s form over the last 14-15 games was too good to ignore. Really tough call but we had to make it. Lyon, Richardson and Behrendorff are the others missing out.

Playing XI:

Australia (Playing XI): Aaron Finch (Captain), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wicket-keeper), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa

Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad (wicket-keeper), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib (Captain), Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hamid Hassan



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