India has been terribly out of form in the first two games of the ICC World T20 2021. Their semi-final chances are very slim, practically none. Indian batting and bowling have failed miserably in the first two games and it reflects in their current position in Group 2 with only Scotland being below them.
Indian batters are really struggling to get going as they scored 151 and 110 respectively in their first two games. Conditions are a bit tough for teams batting first but Indian batters have been below par. Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant are the only batters to have scored 50 runs in the first two games, this shows how poor the batters have been.
The bowlers too have disappointed in the first two games. Indian bowlers have picked only 2 wickets in the two matches so far and both were picked by Bumrah in the last game against New Zealand. All the others have been ineffective in both games. Bowling is a major concern for India as they are playing with only 5 bowlers. The spinners in particular have been very ineffective and have failed to stop the flow of runs.
India needs to put in a collective effort from the batters and bowlers in the remaining games as Afghanistan is not a team to be taken lightly. Big names like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, and all have to step up and take responsibility if India is to give themselves any chance to qualify for the semi-finals.
Afghanistan is playing some exciting cricket at the moment and is in good form with full of confidence. Their batters and bowlers both are performing consistently. They have won 2 games out of 3 with one close defeat against Pakistan. Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, and Najibullah Zadran are their main batters and all are looking in good touch.
Afghanistan’s biggest strength is its spin-web of three world-class spinners. Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi are the backbone of this Afghan team. Mujeeb has been exceptional with the new ball, picking 6 wickets in two games at an economy of just 4.25 including a five-wicket haul against Scotland.
Rashid Khan is the best T20 bowler currently and he has performed the same in the first two games. He almost took his side over the line against Pakistan. Rashid has 7 wickets at an economy of 4.75 in three games. Mujeeb is averaging 5.66 while Rashid is averaging 7 with the ball. Nabi is yet to put in a good performance with the ball but he is scoring consistently with the bat. If Afghan pacers can assist their spinners well then it will be a tough task for the Indian batters.
Probable Playing 11
India may bring in Ravichandran Ashwin for Varun Chakravarthy. Suryakumar Yadav will replace Ishan Kishan if he is declared fit before the game.
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Suryakumar Yadav/Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin/Varun Chakravarthy.
One of Usman Ghani or Hashmatullah Shahidi will replace Asghar Afghan who retired from T20Is in the last game. Mujeeb should return to the eleven replacing Karim Janat.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Usman Ghani/Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman/Karim Janat, Naveen ul Haq, Hamid Hassan.
This game will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. This should be a good wicket to bat on as this will be an evening game. 160-170 should be a good score on this wicket. Pacers will get bounce on this wicket and will enjoy bowling here. Spinners too will get some assistance in the first innings and the bigger dimensions will help them as well. Teams will look to chase because of the dew factor.
Head to Head
Overall: India lead 2-0
(both matches happened in T20WC)
Rohit vs Rashid: 19 runs for 2 dismissals
Rahul vs Rashid: 18 runs for 3 dismissals
Rahul vs Nabi: 55 runs at SR 262, no dismissals
Kohli vs Rashid: 21 runs for 1 dismissal
Pant vs Rashid: 77 runs for 2 dismissals
Pant vs Mujeeb: 17 runs for 2 dismissals
Hardik vs Rashid: 27 runs for 2 dismissals
Kohli vs Right Arm Spin: Average 54, SR 125
Rahul vs Right Arm Spin: Average 40, SR 142
Pant vs Right Arm Spin: Average 88, SR 115
Hardik vs Right Arm Spin: Average 15, SR 111
Jadeja vs Right Arm Spin: Average 5.8, SR 59
- Virat Kohli: Skipper Virat Kohli has been India’s best batsman in World T20s. Kohli was the lone fighter in the first game against Pakistan as well. He has 57 runs in 2 games so far. Virat will have to be at his best as he clearly struggles against quality spin bowling in the middle-overs and Afghanistan has three good spinners. Fans will expect him to lead from the front with the bat in this game.
- Rohit Sharma: Rohit Sharma has failed to perform in the first two games. He has only 14 runs in 2 games. Rohit is one of the best openers in world cricket and can take his team over the line single-handedly once he gets going. Rohit will look to come back stronger and play a big knock in this game.
- Jasprit Bumrah: Bumrah is one of the best pacers in world cricket at the moment and has been the best bowler from India in the two games they’ve played. He has 2 wickets at an economy of 5.85. Bumrah will look to continue his good form in the remaining games as well.
- Rashid Khan: We all know how good Rashid Khan is. He is in great form and has picked 7 wickets in 3 games at an economy of 4.74. Indian batters are struggling against spin bowling and Rashid Khan will look to exploit that and win the game for his side.
- Mujeeb ur Rahman: Mujeeb is expected to return in this game after he was out with injury in the last game. Mujeeb has been phenomenal with the new ball for Afghanistan. The mystery spinner is a genuine wicket-taker and has picked 6 wickets in two games at a brilliant rate of just 4.25 runs per over. Mujeeb too will look to push the Indian batters on the backfoot early in the innings.
- Mohammad Nabi: Afghan skipper Mohammad Nabi will be another key player for his side. Nabi has failed to perform as per the expectations with the ball but he has been excellent with the bat. He is the finisher for his team and is yet to be dismissed in the tournament scoring 78 runs in 3 games at a strike rate of 147.16. Expectations will be high from him and he will look to lead his team towards victory against India in this game.
Top Captain Picks
- Virat Kohli
- KL Rahul
- Rashid Khan
- Mohammad Nabi
- Mujeeb ur Rahman (Risky)
- Jasprit Bumrah (Bowling First)
Disclaimer: These teams are based on the writer's understanding of the game and do not guarantee to win in fantasy cricket. Users are advised to create their own teams with the information provided.