Image Source: @BCCI


One thing that always added spice to an otherwise monotonous calendar year filled with meaningless bilaterals used to be multinational tournaments, which included the Titan cup, Coca-Cola cup, Natwest series, and Pepsi Cup etc. Now that multinational tournaments have vanished completely, we see our favorite teams compete against each other only at the ICC or Asia Cup tournaments. ICC has announced the future tour programmes ( FTP ) for the 2023-27 cycle, but there are hardly any tours planned except for a few tri series. In the midst of this, the Asia Cup is a breath of fresh air that has provided a sense of excitement among viewers

The 15th edition of Asia cup commenced on 27th Aug with Afghanistan beating SL by 8 wickets. It was followed by a nail biter on where India emerged victorious in a last over thriller against Pakistan. The knockout match between SL and Ban was one of the most exciting games that didn't include Ind because of the new born rivalry and a war of words that were exchanged before the game. India have been eliminated after  losing Back to back last over thrillers. No one gave SL a chance, No one anticipated Babar's poor run, none would have felt the need to support Afghanistan. Six games have gone to the last over in the last two weeks, and the viewers have been glued to the screen for the entire time

They say well begun is half done but this hasn't been the case for the 2 teams that are facing each other in a dead rubber of the 2nd last game of the Super 4s. Both teams started their campaign on a high by winning both the games in group stages but were dealt with back to back defeats in the Super 4s. Third time in a row, Afghanistan narrowly missed out on an historic victory over Pakistan. Perhaps, the biggest letdown has been their ace bowler Rashid Khan. The likes of Gunthilaka, Shadab and Asif Ali made sure to target their main bowler and break the shackles while chasing. 

Since the last 8-9 months, India has only lost 8 out of 28 T20s, but the back-to-back defeats have exposed some vulnerabilities. Their selection tactics were bizarre. They arrived on the UAE shores with just 3 pacers and one back up pacer. Deepak hooda is your top order batter but he was asked to play as a finisher at 7 leaving DK out who is a proven specialist in this area. Time is ticking on Rishabh Pant. Statistically, He is one of the worst batters to play 50 innings in top 6 in t20i history. Same goes with KL Rahul, who has struggled in his last 14 outings in t20is except against teams not named Namibia and Scotland. 

Toss will again be a crucial factor. Only thrice in the last 28 games a team has won batting 1st at Dubai 




Probable XI


Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravi Bishnoi,  Arshdeep Singh.


Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi(c), Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Fareed Ahmed, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi




Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai 

Total matches                      80
Matches won batting first    35
Matches won bowling first    44

Average 1st Inns scores    143
Average 2nd Inns scores    127

Highest total recorded    211/6 (20 Ov) by IRE vs SCO
Lowest total recorded    55/10 (14.2 Ov) by WI vs ENG

Highest score chased    184/5 (19.2 Ov) by SL vs BAN
Lowest score defended    134/7 (20 Ov) by OMAN vs HK

At Dubai

IND: Played - 8, Won - 4, Lost -  4 
AFG: Played - 10, Won - 7, Lost - 3



Head to Head 

Overall:       IND leads by 3-0

Batting 1st: IND leads by 2-0

Batting 2nd: IND leads by 1-0

Most runs: Rohit Sharma (75)
Most wkts: Ravi Ashwin (4)



Team Form guide

India:         L L W W W
Afganistan: L L W W L 




Match Ups

Against Rashid Khan 

Against Mujeeb ur Rahman 



Form Update 




Key Players & Fantasy Picks 

Captain / Vice Captain 

Hardik Pandya: 

Since his return from the injury, he has put a brilliant case for being one of the finest all rounders in the t20 format. With captaincy and leading his IPL team to a title victory he has emerged as a more mature player. 487 runs in 2022 IPL and Man of the match performance in the final with the ball. 400 runs at a SR of 142 in last 18 t20is and 13 wkts including a 4 fer against Eng makes him one of the most utility players in the format.

Virat Kohli: 

35(34), 59*(44), 60(44) while these nos may not appear great considering the scoring rate but there were shades of the Old Virat. Compared to what he was like in England two months ago, he appears to be in better shape. As compared to Hong Kong, he was more prepared to take on spinners against Pakistan. 


Rahmanullah Gurbaz

In addition to being a hard hitting batsman, Gurbaz is also a talented wicketkeeper. He is prolific in the T20 format having scored over 2000 runs at a strike rate of 153. He has made an immediate impact in leagues around the world by scoring good knocks on his debut in the BPL and the LPL. He was awarded MoM against SL for scoring 84

Rashid Khan

Arguably the world's best t20 bowler at the moment. Rashid has shown his prowess in both departments while playing in IPL for 6 years and is familair with many Indian batter's and bowler's style of play. He has a good H2H record against almost every batter. He became the only bolwer after Malinga to take 20+ wkts in 6 consecutive seasons in IPL 



Fantasy XI 

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