IND vs AFG 2024: Aakash Chopra urges Afghanistan to play fearlessly

The former India opener expressed his concerns about Afghanistan's conservative batting approach in the first match of the series, urging them to embrace a more aggressive style of play.

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Rahmanullah Gurbaz
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Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Photo Source: Twitter)

Cricket commentator Aakash Chopra has thrown a challenge to the Afghanistan cricket team ahead of their second T20I against India in Indore on January 14. The former India opener expressed his concerns about Afghanistan's conservative batting approach in the first match of the series, urging them to embrace a more aggressive style of play.

Chopra, known for his straightforward opinions, questioned the intent of key batters Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran in the opening encounter. 

"Afghanistan, what are you doing? If you have so much batting, why are your strike rates so low? Rahmanullah Gurbaz is a fantastic striker but in the last match, it seemed like both he and Ibrahim Zadran were playing at a run-a-ball. It seemed like neither of them wanted to take a chance," he said in his YouTube video.

Highlighting Afghanistan's traditionally fearless and explosive cricket, Chopra expressed disappointment in their timid approach, especially considering their strong batting lineup. He emphasized,

"You associate fearless, carefree, explosive and destructive cricket with Afghanistan. However, if they play timid cricket and look a little meek, it's not enjoyable. Gulbadin Naib didn't even get to bat."

The cricket expert suggested strategic changes for Afghanistan, suggesting the inclusion of a bowler like Noor Ahmad to bolster their bowling lineup. 

"If you have so much batting, play wholeheartedly and a little aggressive brand of cricket, or else play a bowler and drop a batter. If Gulbadin Naib is not going to get to bat, Noor Ahmad is sitting out, so play him. You have Fareed Ahmad also in bowling," he said.

Either play an extra bowler or bat aggressively: Aakash Chopra

Chopra emphasised the need for Afghanistan to either play an extra bowler or adopt an aggressive batting approach to post or chase substantial totals. He believes that a fearless mindset is crucial, especially considering the runs that can be scored at the Indore ground.

"You have bowlers. So either play an extra bowler or bat so aggressively that if you get to bat first, you score 200, and if India score 200, you should chase it as well. You will have to go with that thinking as a lot of runs are scored on this ground."

Looking ahead to the second T20I, Chopra predicted that the team winning the toss might opt to bowl first due to expected dew in the second innings. Additionally, he hinted at possible changes in the Indian lineup, with Virat Kohli's return and the inclusion of seamer Avesh Khan in place of a spinner.

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