Match Preview: India vs Afghanistan

Match Preview: India vs Afghanistan

Match Preview: India vs Afghanistan 

It’s a dead game as far as the tournament goes but try telling that to India and Afghanistan – both hurting after a series of heartbreaking losses. Now, before they hop on an early flight home, there’s pride and some game time to accrue as they build towards the T20 World Cup.

Surely neither side would’ve thought this game would decide who finishes last in the Super 4s. So much for the general assumption and hype surrounding India vs Pakistan and their “three-match series.”

The clash will be particularly tough for Afghanistan for obvious reasons. Physically, the heat and humidity would’ve taken its toll on the players because they will have to turn up fresh less than 18 hours after their potboiler against Pakistan in Sharjah. That isn’t all. There’s also a matter of trying to lift themselves mentally and emotionally after Wednesday’s heartbreak.

As such, international cricket can be demanding, but their scheduling, in these oppressive conditions, has been anything but kind. But it’s likely Afghanistan, who’ve seen far worse in life and otherwise, will turn up and try to give India a run for their money.


Pitch and conditions

Surfaces are slowly losing sheen, and it’s becoming more helpful for the bowlers, especially if they’re prepared to dig it in. However, the same surfaces seem to get just a tad quicker at night, making it easy for the chasing team despite the absence of dew. Only two of the 19 games have been won by the team batting first since January 2020 here. That’s quite a damming statistic for the team losing the toss, because captains invariably choose to bowl first. Weather-wise, it’ll continue to remain hot and muggy, although the temperatures

have dipped just a touch in the evening. From early 40s, we’re down to the late 30s (Celsius) at night.

Team news

Deepak Chahar hasn’t officially been drafted into the squad, but there’s a good chance he could play pending a clearance

from the Asian Cricket Council should Avesh Khan be ruled out of the match. Chahar has been a regular feature at training, and bowled full-tilt prior to the start of the Sri Lanka game. They could also bring in Dinesh Karthik and Axar Patel for Rishabh Pant Deepak Hooda.

Probably Playing XI of India

 1 KL Rahul, 2 Rohit Sharma (capt), 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Axar Patel, 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 R

R Ashwin/Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Arshdeep Singh
Afghanistan will have a tough call, depending on how the players pull up following their game against Pakistan.

Probably Playing XI of Afghanistan

 1 Hazratullah Zazai, 2 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 3 Ibrahim Zadran, 4 Najibullah Zadran, 5 Mohammad Nabi (capt), 6 Karim Janat, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 Azmatullah Omarzai, 9 Naveen-ul-Haq, 10 Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, 11 Fazalhaq Farooqi.

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