Two matches, two defeats, a result for team India that no one would have expected given their rich form and adoption to the UAE conditions courtesy of the Indian Premier League.
The Men in Blue are set to lock horns with the spirited Afghanistan side at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, this Wednesday.
The clash stands to be a crucial one for team India if they are to stand any chance of keeping their hope alive for making it to the semis, while a win for the Afghanistan side could seal their place in the second spot and turn the matchup against the kiwis a virtual knock-out.
Afghanistan are yet to win a match against the Indians in any format. However, they came mighty close in the last World cup meeting between the sides in 2019. The Afghans have showcased immense form and then intent has been there since their arrival, while the Indian side looks a bit low on confidence.
Can Mohammad Nabi and Co. Capitalize on the poor form of India? Or will Virat Kohli and Co. bounce back strong to keep their hopes alive?
Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (19:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (19:30 IST)
Match Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Head to Head
Matches played: 2, India: 2, Afghanistan: 0
Weather conditions and pitch
Changes are inevitable and the Indian side served as the best example in the match-up against New Zealand as after a disastrous show against the Pakistani side they were forced to make changes. However, it once again backfired. Ishan Kishan showed intent but was out in an unfortunate manner and the youngster truly deserves another shot.
Varun Chakravarthy looks totally out of form and he is likely to be replaced by the experienced lad Ravichandran Ashwin, who could bring in great variety in the bowling attack.
With Afghanistan's former skipper Asghar Afghan announcing his retirement from international cricket, one out of Hastmatullah Shahidi and Hamid Hassan are likely to fill his gap. Mujeeb Ur Rahman is expected to be back in the line-up replacing Karim Janat.
Afghanistan National Team’s bowing coach Shaun Tait talks about the structure of national team, bowling and in particular seam attack of Afghanistan. Visit the following link for the full interview:https://t.co/tDba6GcZ6C— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) November 2, 2021
Probable Playing Xl
India (IND): Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah
Afghanistan (AFG): Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Hashmatullah Shahidi/Hamid Hassan, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Naveen ul Haq
Rohit Sharma may not have been among the runs but that is solely due to his shot selection. He would be raring to make an impact and we feel this could be the big match for him. Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi too could be a great pick in the fantasy line-up.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Afghani star bowler Rashid Khan are the other two must-picks for this testing encounter.
IND vs AFG fantasy team
Mohammad Shahzad, Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul, Hazratullah Zazai, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Nabi, N. Gaib, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Captain and Vice-captain picks
Yes, the Indians are struggling but their experience will come in handy, and given that they have the biggest names of the sport on their side, they are expected to come out all guns blazing for this must-win encounter.
We do not expect a one-sided encounter but the Indians are likely to come out on top.
Cricwizz predicts India to win the match against Afghanistan.
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