Afghanistan possibly a bigger threat than Pakistan according to Rahul Dravid
India play Afghanistan on Tuesday in the Super 4d.
Updated - Sep 23, 2018 1:47 pm
Former India captain and current coach of India A and India Under-19 Rahul Dravid believes Afghanistan are a bigger threat to the Indian cricket team in the Asia Cup than Pakistan. He said that the defending champions must be wary of Asghar Afghan’s boys as well as Bangladesh in the Super 4s phase. India already registered a 7-wicket victory over Bangladesh on Friday in their opening fixture of the Super 4s. They now take on arch-rivals Pakistan for a second time in this tournament.
However, Dravid is of the opinion that India mustn’t focus on Pakistan only. Afghanistan have won both their Group B matches, humiliating giants Sri Lanka and subsequently defeating Bangladesh as well. Meanwhile, India have put on two clinical performances with the ball, restricting both Pakistan and Bangladesh to sub-200 scores in their last two matches. They survived a Hong Kong scare in their opening fixture of the Asia Cup after the underdogs came within 30-runs of a victory.
Focus on Bangladesh and Afghanistan
Dravid also feels that Bangladesh are a strong side, who are capable of causing an upset in the business end of the tournament. “Afghanistan is doing well, I don’t know why we are only focusing on Pakistan. Bangladesh too are doing well. Afghanistan also are a force to reckon with. If I was in the team I would not just be focusing on Pakistan. We are playing very good white ball cricket but we have to be careful of other teams too,” he was quoted as saying on India Today.
Sunday’s Super 4 clashes will see India take on Pakistan in Dubai, while Bangladesh will look to make it 1-1 against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi. Bangladesh have suffered several injuries: Tamim Iqbal has been ruled out of the tournament with a fractured wrist, while Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim continue to play with some niggles. India have had their fair share of injuries as well with Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel out of the Asia Cup. Ravindra Jadeja, who took Pandya’s place in India’s match against Bangladesh, impressed in his return to ODI cricket with a 4-for.