India finished the group with a mediocre start against Hong Kong but strong finish against Pakistan. On the other hand, Afghanistan started the group play with a strong start against Sri Lanka and rather astonishing finish against Bangladesh. However, the group play is the thing of past as we are moving into the last leg of Super Four now.
India is one of the teams that is seen favorites in the tournament to win. It has a strong batting powerhouse. Both openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are in full flow. Their opening stand is proving difficult for the opposition. They are reading the pace of the pitch quite well. Then they have a stable middle order in the form of Rayadu, Karthik, Jadhav, and evergreen Dhoni. After injury of Pandaya, Jadeja has joined the team as the all-rounder and batting at no. 7.
|Match||India vs Afghanistan, Super Four, Match 5|
|Date||25 September 2018 (50-over match)|
|Time||11:30 AM GMT / 03:30 PM LOCAL|
|Venue||Dubai International Cricket Stadium , Dubai|
In the Bowling department, India has a strong unit regarding seamers and spin. Bhubaneswar Kumar, Bumrah and Khaleel are in good shape. The spin trip of Kuldeep Singh, Jadeja and Chahal can choke any team in middle orders. And then there is Jadhav too.
But the question is can Afghanistan deliver here again? We have seen how they have risen in this tournament. No doubt they have one of the best bowling units today. And this unit becomes more deadly if the pitch is spin friendly like in Dubai. While India too has the spin trio but you can’t think of them as deadly as the spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the recent history? 20 years old Rashid Khan is already touted as the best ODI spinner of his generation. And now he is fast becoming a bowling all-rounder. Same goes for Nabi. These names are already on people’s lips. While their batting is not that strong but if these spinners can produce special lower middle order performance in batting also, they can set a challenging total if batting first and can produce a stunning chase too if they score doesn’t go beyond 250.
The match will be between one rising powers of cricket and one global power. Afghanistan might have the millions of prayers behind them. Everyone loves them, and everyone wants them to win, but India rules the hearts of Cricket. They have the team to defeat any team on any pitch in the shorter version of games if not test.