The Asian T20 Giants are set to go hell for leather in the most important match of either of their campaigns. The stakes couldn’t be any higher and the tension can be cut by a knife. Billions of fans would be at the edge of their seats hoping for a miraculous turn of tides as the Men-in-Blues battle it out at the grandest T20 stage of them all. That being said, here is a detailed preview of India vs Afghanistan T20 World Cup Match.
Despite having played innumerable T20 matches, Afghanistan and India have locked horns only twice in T20Is. The two sides have squared off during the group stage of the 2010 and 2012 T20 World Cups. It goes without saying that India was able to crush the nation from the middle-east without breaking a sweat. However, those times were different as Afghanistan was still trying to crack the code in international cricket. Over the years, Afghanistan’s slow and steady rise in T20 cricket has made them a force to be reckoned with as they promise to not back down without putting up a fight.
|Rank||Highest Run Scorer||Highest Wicket Taker|
|1||Suresh Raina (56)||Yuvraj Singh (3)|
|2||Virat Kohli (50)||Ashish Nehra (3)|
|3||Noor Ali Zadran (50)||Lakshimapathy Balaji (3)|
Journey in the Tournament
India has had a miserable start to its campaign with humiliating defeats coming at the hands of Pakistan and New Zealand. Not once have they been able to cross the 160-run mark in the two games which are evidence of their failing batting lineup. They’ve also picked up only two wickets in the two previous games which paint quite a picture about their plight. Afghanistan started off its campaign with a monumental 130-run victory over Scotland. They were almost at the brink of upsetting undefeated Pakistan, had it not been for the heroics of one Asif Ali. They revitalized their run with a defining 62-run victory that boosted their run rate to the second position.
|Team||First Match||Second Match||Third Match|
|India||Lost by 10 wickets (Pakistan)||Lost by 8 Wickets (New Zealand)||–|
|Afghanistan||Won by 130 runs (Scotland)||Lost by 5 wickets (Pakistan)||Won by 62 runs (Namibia)|
Players to watch out for
After two unsuccessful outings with the bat, openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma would like to right their by-gone wrongs. The pair haven’t given India the desired start which result in India losing its way mid-way through the innings. A decent start from India’s openers would exactly be what the doctor ordered for the Men-in-Blue. In addition to this, all eyes will be on Rashid Khan as well as the 24-year-old has been familiar with the Indian batting for years during the IPL. Rashid knows the ins and outs of the team and his stellar run in the IPL is an example of that.
India vs Afghanistan T20 World Cup Preview
India would be walking into the match with nothing to lose as the chances of their qualification seem next to miraculous. On the other hand, Afghanistan would like to take full advantage of India’s misery and get one step closer to etching their names in the semis. It basically means there is a lot to play for here as we all know how dangerous one can get when they’ve got nothing to lose. The stakes couldn’t be any higher as both sides gear up for an unmissable showcase at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Saturday. Who’s going to come out on top? Our guess is as good as yours. One thing’s for sure that we are in for an absolute barn-burner of a contest.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Varun Chakravarthy, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav.
Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb ur Rahman.