SYDNEY: England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to send his bowlers out to have a crack at Afghanistan’s batsmen under leaden skies at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
With both sides already eliminated from contention for the knockout stage, the Pool A match is a dead rubber as far as the World Cup is concerned but there is still plenty at stake.
England have been heavily criticised all week after defeat to Bangladesh on Monday sealed their exit and they need a second win to avoid their worst performance at a World Cup.
Injuries to all-rounders Chris Woakes (metatarsal) and Moeen Ali (abdominal strain) forced two changes from the side that lost in Adelaide.
Ravi Bopara and James Tredwell come into the side, while Alex Hales moves up from number three in the batting order to open with Ian Bell.
Afghanistan are looking for a second win in their maiden tournament which would bolster the campaign against the decision to shrink the World Cup to 10 teams in 2019, a move that will have a big impact on the associate members of the ICC.
They made two changes for the match with Nasir Jamal coming into the side in place of Usman Ghani and Shafiqullah Shafiq replacing Asghar Stanikzai.
There was rainfall at the ground on Friday and more showers are forecast for the afternoon and evening.
England – Ian Bell, Alex Hales, James Taylor, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (captain), Josh Buttler, Ravi Bopara, Chris Jordan, James Tredwell, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Afghanistan – Nawroz Mangal, Javed Ahmadi, Afsar Zazai, Nasir Jamal, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran.