Asia Cup 2018: Super Four, Match 5, India vs Afghanistan - Afghanistan's predicted XI

Asia Cup 2018: Super Four, Match 5, India vs Afghanistan – Afghanistan’s predicted XI

This game will be nothing more than a dead-rubber, but that doesn't take away the entertainment factor.

Afghanistan team
Afghanistan team. (Photo Source: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Once the Asia Cup is done and all the players will head back home, one team that will have sleepless nights over their performance will be Afghanistan. They certainly had things in control against Pakistan and Bangladesh, but their inexperience to deal with such pressure games saw them getting knocked out of the tournament.

For their final game of this campaign, they will be facing the wrath of the mighty Indians. The Men in Blue have been ruthless despite a slow start against Hong Kong and will be eager to continue their winning-streak. This game will be nothing more than a dead-rubber, but that doesn’t take away the entertainment factor.

India might rest a couple of big players to keep them fresh for the final, but Asghar Afghan will go with the strongest side at his disposal to try and collect a win against the Indians. Here’s the predicted XI of the Afghanistan side for their final game.

Openers (Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Ihsanullah Janat)

The very audacious and experienced Mohammad Shahzad is a key member of the side. He has the ability to give the team a quickfire start but he is choosing to bat sensibly and constructively, a side of his game the world didn’t see before.

Ihsanullah Janat will be keen to build another decent inning, just the way he did in the game against Sri Lanka. But after that game, he lost touch and failed to register any more notable scores. He will be keen to overturn that stat and finish the tournament on a high.

Middle order (Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan (c), Najibullah Zadran)

Rahmat Shah chipped in with a brilliant knock in the first match and post that, he got a couple of good starts but failed to convert them into something big. Skipper Asghar Afghan registered a timely fifty against Pakistan and will be eager to replicate something like that against the strongest side in the tournament.

Following these two gentlemen in the middle order will be Hasmatullah Shahidi and Najibullah Zadran. Shahidi almost registered a brilliant hundred in the game against Pakistan and scored a brilliant 71 against Bangladesh. He clearly will be their mainstay in the middle order.

All-rounders (Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan)

After his half-century against Bangladesh, it’d be fair to say that Rashid Khan qualifies more as an all-rounder. He can rescue the side with the bat and ball like no other, a feature very few cricketers possess. Certainly, he has the potential to become one of the best in the generation.

The highly experienced Mohammad Nabi can never be ignored. He’s one of the catalysts behind the drastic rise of Afghanistan cricket and he’s always an important player. Gulbadin Naib too is chipping in with consistent performances, much to the delight of their skipper.

Bowlers (Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam)

Aftab Alam has been struggling to get his lengths correct and that cost them the game against Pakistan. Nevertheless, he still has the ability to hit the blockhole consistently, which is a factor to be wary of from the Indians perspective.

The spin duo of Rashid and Mujeeb easily qualifies as one of the best spin-partnerships in the world. Mujeeb keeps hitting the right areas consistently and gives no room for the batters. If he can deliver another good performance, Afghanistan might as well register the biggest win of their career.