Read this article for ICC World Cup match 21 -South Africa vs Afghanistan game analysis, South Africa vs Afghanistan Dream11 team prediction, match summary, probable XI and more.
South Africa were never seen as one of the favourites to reach the last four of the ongoing World Cup largely due to their inexperienced batting line-up. Their performance so far in the tournament has been disappointing to say the least.
South Africa's best result thus far has been a 'no result' owing to their washed out match against the West Indies on Monday, coming on the back of a hat-trick of comprehensive defeats.
Afghanistan, who face South Africa on Saturday, too have suffered a similar fate in the tournament so far, as their batting collapses have given their star-studded bowling line-up little to defend. In the three matches they have played so far, Afghanistan have managed scores of 207, 152 and 172 -- totals that have been deemed chaseable decades back in ODI cricket.
Add to that the uncertainty over the fitness of their star spinner Rashid Khan and the allegations levelled against the selectors by dropped keeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad, Afghanistan indeed seem to be on a shaky ground. It means that if South Africa have any chance of getting out of the rut they currently find themselves in, it is in this match. While their batting remains an obvious weak link, South Africa's troubles have been compounded by some loose fielding and a misfiring pace attack.
While they managed to get the better of most of the mighty England batting line-up before Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes bailed the hosts out in the tournament opener, South Africa were completely outplayed in the games against Bangladesh and India. Tightening things up in the field against an already vulnerable Afghanistan batting line-up would go a long way in securing a first win in the tournament for the Proteas.
Similarly, the fact that they are facing what has to be the weakest South African side to have played in a World Cup means that this is the best chance for Afghanistan to show that they belong at this level of the game. However, the weather forecast for Cardiff is not encouraging. It is expected to rain in the early parts of the day and showers could return in the afternoon.
But Afghanistan are one of the few teams in the tournament which didn't experience a washout thus far and the players would hope that their good luck continues on Saturday.
The South African players have not been performing well but in today’s match, they are aiming to pull up their sleeves. Picking players such as Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis would be a wise choice as they are the ones who will take the team to victory.
Over to the Afghanistan side, they do have some great players but are the underdogs in the tournament. From the team, you should pick Hazratullah Zazai, Rashid Khan and Gulbadin Naib. They have a great synergy with the rest of the team and are as consistent as can be. This time, they aim to take the team to new heights.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (C), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Beuran Hendricks.
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Gulbadin Naib (C), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hasan.