India vs Afghanistan: Opening combination in focus as we look at the predicted playing 11 for both the teams for T20 World Cup 2021.
For the first time in the T20 World Cup history, India have found themselves losing their first two matches of the tournament. Such has been the intensity of those defeats that not only does India need to win all of their remaining three matches, but they need to win them with big margins.
In both the matches India played so far, the toss was a crucial factor given the evening conditions. Unfortunately, Virat lost both the tosses as has been his history with the tosses. With India batting first in both the matches, the bowling of the opposition looked more ominous as India failed to put up a good score on both occasions.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, have the best NRR in the group. They have won 2 of their 3 matches, and a win against India would only make their case stronger. So, in a must-win encounter for India, what could be the strongest predicted playing 11 for Team India for their T20 World Cup 2021 clash vs Afghanistan? Let’s find out in this article.
T20 World Cup 2021 – Official Squad for Team India:
Batsmen: Ishan Kishan (WK), KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (WK), Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav & Virat Kohli
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya & Ravindra Jadeja
Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur & Varun Chakravarthy
Reserves: Axar Patel, Shreyas Iyer & Deepak Chahar
Mentor: MS Dhoni // Captain: Virat Kohli // Vice-captain: Rohit Sharma
Tournament: ICC T20 World Cup 2021
Type: Group 2 – India vs Afghanistan
Where: Abu Dhabi // When: 7:30 pm IST.
Openers: Rohit Sharma & KL Rahul
In probably the most surprising move, India played Ishan Kishan as the opener alongside KL Rahul for their match vs New Zealand. In the process, India demoted Rohit Sharma to the number 3 position. A baffling tactic from Virat Kohli resulted in another poor start as all three top-order players succumbed to pressure once again.
If Suryakumar is fit, he should straightway replace Ishan Kishan in the squad, and that means Rohit and KL should have back to opening again. If Suryakumar isn’t fit, even in that case, KL and Rohit should continue to open, and Kishan should play in the middle-order at 4. This is the most sensible thing to do to accommodate Kishan in the playing 11.
Middle-order: Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Suryakumar Yadav & Hardik Pandya
The main question in the middle-order would be the availability of Suryakumar Yadav. Surya is considered as an x-factor in this team given his unique ability to rotate the strike and provide sensible hitting when needed. Hopefully, Suryakumar is fit, and if he is, he should replace Kishan in the squad. If not, we should see Ishan Kishan in the squad at 4.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli would be eager to perform after his failure against New Zealand. As a captain, Kohli would be hoping to win the toss, bat second. Only then, India would find themselves in a more comfortable situation in the field. Pant and Hardik would need to be more aggressive in their approach vs Afghanistan.
Spinners: Ravindra Jadeja & Varun Chakravarthy
In both the matches so far, the spin of Jadeja and Chakravarthy hasn’t looked as threatening as India would have liked. While part of the reason for their wicketless bowling was dew, they were also not able to create much pressure on the batting. Mostly, Jadeja should continue his position as the batting all-rounder. His 2-3 overs with the ball will crucial.
Talking about Chakravarthy, he hasn’t been bad at all. In the 8 overs Chakravarthy has bowled, he conceded 56 runs at an economy rate of 7. While he couldn’t take any wicket, his ER or 7 in batting-friendly conditions is an excellent effort. He should continue playing for India, and Kohli should not look to replace him.
Pacers: Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur & Jasprit Bumrah
India brought Shardul Thakur for Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second match vs New Zealand. This was to compensate for the lack of teeth in Bhuvi’s bowling. In all, Team India should stick to Shardul unless India feel a need to bring in Rahul Chahar in the mix to add a more wicket-taking option. India can also look to play Rahul Chahar for Shami, but that possibility looks thin.
Apart from Shardul, India would need their senior Pros, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami to step up. Bumrah did bowl well against New Zealand scalping 2 wickets. But that’s not enough. India would need Bumrah to do even better given the struggle of other bowlers. Shami, meanwhile, would need to get back to his wicket-taking best.
So, that completes the strongest predicted playing 11 for Team India for T20 World Cup 2021 match vs Afghanistan. Overall, if India don’t panic, Suryakumar should replace Kishan, if the former is fit. Other than that, India may not do any other changes.
T20 World Cup 2021 India vs Afghanistan – Predicted Playing 11 for Team India:
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah & Varun Chakravarthy.
T20 World Cup 2021 India vs Afghanistan – Predicted Playing 11 for Afghanistan:
Mohammad Shazad, Hazratullah Zazai, Ranmanullah Gurbaz, Hasmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hamid Hassan & Naveen Ul Haq.
Top Players to Watch-out for:
Batsmen: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma & Mohammad Shazad
Wicket-keeper: Rishabh Pant
All-rounder: Mohammad Nabi
Bowlers: Mohammed Shammi, Rashid Khan & Mujeeb Ur Rahman
CVC Choice: KL Rahul & Mohammed Shami
Thanks for reading! What’s your predicted playing 11 for Team India vs Afghanistan for T20 World Cup 2021? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
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