ICC World Cup 2019: Match 28, India vs Afghanistan, Preview – Virat’s juggernaut lock horns with a diffident Afghan contingent
Afghanistan have lost all of their five games in the tournament.
Updated - Feb 19, 2020 6:09 pm
Two sides with contrasting fortunes, confidence levels and star names, India and Afghanistan have been poles apart in this championship. For some reason, all the promise shown by their players prior to the tournament is not reflecting in the big tournament, thus dooming Afghanistan in their first five games. After the humiliation they were served by Eoin Morgan & Co., it’ll be some ask for them to regain their confidence.
It only gets tougher as they next combat with India. The Men in Blue have been terrific in every department and after a sensational win against arch-rivals Pakistan, they will be coming on to the field with more conviction. These two Asian sides met twice previously in this format, with India winning a game and the other ending in a draw.
Among all the exciting and promising encounters, this is not the most eagerly anticipated game but there are some great individual battles to look forward. Both teams have quality spinners in their lineups and that will lineup for a very interesting battle.
Rishabh Pant in the squad is a teaser for Kohli, but the youngster will have to wait for his chance. Mohammed Shami will come in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar after the latter got injured during the Pakistan game. Hardik Pandya will continue to bat at number four if the top three bat out the first 30 overs. Kuldeep Yadav found a great rhythm in the previous game and the bowling order looks as deadly as any in the business.
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni (wk), Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Noor Ali Zadran might make way for Hazratullah Zazai and the southpaw will open alongside Gulbadin Naib. Mujeeb Ur Rahman got going well with the ball, but couldn’t pick any wickets. Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah registered good scores in the previous game and once again will be expected to score big. Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi the two experienced pillars of this team will want to put their hand up for the team.
Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib (C), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
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Focus will be on
Virat Kohli (India)
After missing out on a possible hundred twice in two games, the Indian captain will be eager to get those three figures. Virat Kohli has looked pretty compact with his technique, precise with plans and sensational in terms of execution. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, then KL Rahul ensured the burden doesn’t fall completely on Kohli as yet, but one thing is certain, the big man will be waiting for his turn to pounce on the prey.
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
It is time for the highly rated leg-spinner to prove his worth, especially after the debacle against England. It wasn’t the best of pitches for Rashid Khan, but he was way too predictable and got smashed to all parts. To avoid any further criticism of failing to perform at the International level, Rashid needs to churn out some magic from his wrist in this game against Indians who are good players of spin.
Head to head
Matches played – 2 | India won – 1 | Afghanistan won – 0 | Tied – 1 | No result – 0
1 – India lost just one of their previous 16 games in World Cups (to Australia in the 2015 semi-final).
TV – Star Sports
Live Streaming– Hotstar
Match Timings – 15:00 IST; 10:30 local