India will go back to Southampton where Rohit Sharma played a resilient innings of 122* off 144 against a disciplined pace attack of South Africa and on a track that equally helped batsmen and bowlers. The pitch, however, is expected to favour the batsmen this time. Virat Kohli will elect to bat first hands down if they win the toss.
Given Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been ruled out for the next two games, Mohammad Shami is likely to replace him in the Afghanistan game. With India currently very well placed in the tournament, they would like to give Shami some game time before going into the big game.
It is also understood that Vijay Shankar has also picked up an injury on his toe during a practice session. Rishabh Pant who has just been included in the side as a replacement for Shikhar Dhawan might get to play his first match in the World Cup.
Afghanistan has played as many as five matches in the tournament but has not been able to win a single game so far. Gulbadin and Co. haven’t been able to perform up to their potential in the tournament.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, is the only team in the tournament who have failed to collect a single point in the points table. They have lost all their matches and are lying last in the points table.
Afghans need to come up with all new tactics and strategies. It would be interesting to see if they somehow manage to defend India in Southampton.
Probable XI for India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaspirt Bumrah
Probable XI for Afghanistan: NA Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai/Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman/Hameed Hassan
#1. Rohit Sharma
Unarguably, Rohit Sharma is in the contention for the highest run-scorers in the tournament. It has been a dream start for India’s vice-captain, boasting of scores such as 122, 57, and 140in three matches he has batted so far. Rohit has already played two match-winning innings against sides like South Africa and Pakistan. With two hundred already in the tournament, he would look to have another one ahead of the game against Afghanistan.
#2. KL Rahul
A lot will be on KL Rahul’s shoulder as well to give India an ideal start in the tournament. KL Rahul played a handy 57-run knock in the last game against Pakistan. The last game would have given a lot of confidence as he would like to take his game only a notch higher from here on.
#3. Virat Kohli
The run-machine Kohli has made the most of whatever opportunities have come his way in the tournament so far. Barring the South Africa match, the Indian skipper played fabulously in the other two games against Australia and Pakistan. He scored 82 and 77 against Australia and Pakistan respectively. Given his hunger for runs and milestones, he would eking to score his first century in the World Cup in India’s next game against Afghanistan.
#4. Gulbadin Naib
Afghanistan’s skipper Gulbadin Naib is a pretty handy customer for any fantasy team owing to all-rounder ability. The Afghanistan all-rounder will give you points both with his batting and bowling. Gulbadin performed wonderfully in Afghanistan’s last match against England. He scored a valiant 28-ball 37 and also picked three crucial wickets in the match.
Perfect time for India to up the net run rate
Afghanistan haven’t been the side we know. If anything, they aren’t enjoying their game. Win or lose, they always, always have a good time. In this World Cup, however, they have been uncharacteristic, that it seems they do not want to play the game anymore. India can feed on this. They are brimming with confidence, and if they execute all their plans, they have the opportunity not just to bag another win but to win it by a massive margin, for net run rate will matter as we approach the semi-finals.
Dream11 Team | India vs Afghanistan Dream11 Prediction
- Rohit Sharma (C)
- KL Rahul (VC)
- Virat Kohli
- Gulbadin Naib
- Hashmatullah Shahidi
- Rahmat Shah
- Yuzvendra Chahal
- Kuldeep Yadav
- Mohammad Shami
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Ikram Ali Khil