A big clash for the festive week to begin with, as India face Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi
Two heart-wrenching losses might have put them on the backfoot but when they take on Afghanistan on Deepavali eve, one can make no mistake about the ability the men in blue have, and that is perhaps what makes them a dominant force in world cricket. Team India’s fighting spirit is second and they will look to make the best out of their remaining fixtures in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Indian middle-order batter Suryakumar missed the previous match against New Zealand due to a back spasm and wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan replaced him in the eleven. And as a result of the left-handed batter coming into the mix, he was elevated to open the innings along with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma was floated down to third.
"How things went was that Surya was having some back spasm the previous night. So, he was not fit enough to be in the playing XI. So, the person coming in was of course Ishan. And Ishan has done really well as an opener in IPL and in the past for the Indian team as well. And about who takes the call -- it was the whole management who sits together and takes this call and of course, Rohit is part of that group," India batting coach, Vikram Rathour said in the pre-match press conference.
"So, Rohit was of course part of that discussion, which tactically made sense having a left-hander upfront because we didn't want too many left-handers in the late middle order with Ishan, Pant, and Jadeja. So, tactically it made sense and that guy has batted well at the top of the order,'' he added.
Super 12 Group 2, Match 33: India v Afghanistan
Date: 3 November 2021
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Head-to-Head in T20Is:
India Wins: 2
Afghanistan Wins: 0
Most Runs: Suresh Raina (56 runs) for India, Noor Ali Zadran (50 runs) Afghanistan
Most Wickets: Lakshmipathy Balaji (3 Wickets) for India, Shapoor Zadran (2 wickets) for Afghanistan
Battles to Watch:
- Virat Kohli vs Rashid Khan
- Mohammed Shami vs Hazratullah Zazai
- Rohit Sharma vs Mohammed Nabi
India: Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mohammad Nabi (c), Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, Hamid Hassan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Usman Ghani.