India vs. Afghanistan – the best team in world cricket against the least experienced side. Will it be any contest?
Well, at the time of this writing, India have already lost one wicket, that of Rohit Sharma’s – so yes, this might well turn out to be quite a contest! We apologize for the late preview of this match, but suddenly this seems to be an interesting game.
Too bad Rishabh Pant is not playing! Many of us were hoping that the kid would get a game. Rishabh is India’s most destructive batsman in ODIs and T20s, and he should have got a game.
But clearly the team management felt Vijay Shankar would be a better fit because of his medium paced bowling. We don’t necessarily agree with that, but there you have it – Vijay is playing, and Rishabh is not.
What about Afghanistan? They have some real problems in their team, with all out war between the coach and the chairman of selectors. The senior players are also battling each other.
Afghanistan were supposed to spring a surprise or two in this World Cup. So far their campaign has been a complete a mess. Can they really improve upon that? Hard to tell.
Their trump card will be Rashid Khan, one of the best cricketers on the planet. Rashid was taken out for a plenty by Eoin Morgan, but he is a resilient young man and should be at his best for this match.
All Afghan players play in India, they have grown up watching and idolizing Indian cricketers. So this match is something they have been looking forward to for much of their lives. It’s a dream come true for them, and they will be sure to put up their very best, regardless of whatever happened in the matches before this.
India: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Vijay Shankar, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Afghanistan: 1 Noor Ali Zadran, 2 Gulbadin Naib (capt), 3 Rahmat Shah, 4 Hashmatullah Shahidi, 5 Asghar Afghan, 6 Mohammad Nabi, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 Ikram Ali Khil, 9 Aftab Alam 10, Dawlat Zadran, 11 Mujeeb Ur Rahman
As far as we can see right now, the pitch seems to be good for batting and no rain in sight.
Prediction: A win for India.