Video of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri talking before IND vs AFG match Sports

Video of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri talking before IND vs AFG match

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Time icon November 3, 2021   | Last Updated: May 17, 2024 at 5:38 AM

India vs Afghanistan, 33rd Match, Group 2 (N), Abu Dhabi, Nov 3 2021

Toss Update: Afghanistan win the toss and bowl first

Nabi: “Will bowl first. Last game there was a lot of dew in the second half. Mujeeb isn’t playing. We always prepare for both, but today we’ll bowl first because of dew. We’ll play normal cricket and go and enjoy.”

Kohli: “Firstly there’s no denying the fact that the situation is a tricky one. Having said that there’s still a chance. We as a team will look at the chance and try to play positive cricket.

We know we haven’t played up to potential whatever the reasons might be – need to brush that aside. Would have bowled first.

But it’s not a bad thing against a side like Afghanistan who look to put up runs on the board. Couple of changes – Surya is back as he’s fit. Ashwin replaces Varun who has a bit of a niggle.”


Afghanistan (Playing XI): Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad(w), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi(c), Gulbadin Naib, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, Naveen-ul-Haq, Hamid Hassan

India (Playing XI): KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(c), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Match Preview: Two World-Class openers, talent through the line-up down to No.9, handy all-rounders, world-class spinners, defined roles and the highest T20I win percentage (83.3%) among full members since the last T20 World Cup in 2016. All of these roughly describe one of the two teams in action in Abu Dhabi today and that team, surprisingly, is not India.

It speaks volumes to the pedigree of Afghanistan’s T20 team that, despite the continuous troubles, resignations, and its ramifications, they are a force in the shortest format, whose players’ specialised skills are in demand on the franchise circuit such as IPL,PSL and CPL.

Here too, in the face of adversity, they’ve produced three impressive performances, two of them comprehensive victories and a third near-win against a high-flying Pakistan side. All that is left for them to prove is a seminal World Cup victory against one of the traditional heavyweights.

Will today be that day? India are – not to put too fine a point on it – a team that is ripe for the picking. They appear exhauseted after a taxing year that has had tours of Australia and England. That said, their T20 philosophy has remained the same: cautious, risk-averse and conservative.

It’s an issue that has infected this campaign. Unlike their next opponents, India play T20 cricket with a sense of fear, a sense of protecting something that must not be lost.

The standings mirror this weird contrast. A semifinal berth remains a realistic target for Mohammad Nabi’s team, especially on these surfaces even with two big games to come. India, on the other hand, are just about alive in the tournament, their destiny no longer in their hands. If ever there was a chance for Virat Kohli and Co. to fan the flickering flames and draw a line under the inadequacies of their two recent performances, it is now. Either way, this match will provide some exciting piece of cricket.

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