Date & Time: Saturday, June 22, 15:00 IST
Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton, England
Will India be at their dominating best once again?
India couldn’t have asked for a better start to the tournament. Having beaten South Africa, Australia and their arch rivals Pakistan in a comfortable way, India faces Afghanistan today at The Rose Bowl. Afghanistan meanwhile, has not managed to get any points so far and they are worried about their top performer- Rashid Khan’s form, at the moment.
India will be forced to play Mohammad Shami due to Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s hamstring injury. Otherwise we can expect an unchanged line up. Afghanistan has been one of the most unpredictable teams when it comes to team selection and they are expected to tweak some bowling options.
The last couple of matches here have been on the low scoring spectrum. The sun is expected to be bright, so we might get to see a better batting surface this time around.
With his current run form in ICC World Cup 2019, it would be almost impossible not to have him in your Dream11 team. The last time he played at this venue, he scored a match winning knock of 122* in a chase which was hailed as his best innings so far by the chase master Virat Kohli. Also, with Afghanistan struggling to pick up early wickets in the tournament and knowing how Rohit Sharma cashes in after getting through the initial period, one more big innings from him shouldn’t surprise anyone.
One wouldn’t have placed bets against Virat Kohli not scoring a century in first 4 matches (1 washout) in ICC World Cup 2019, but such has been the form of Indian openers that Virat Kohli didn’t get to face many balls. Even then, he has scored 82 and 77 in his last two outings and a century is just around the corner.
Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib has been consistently delivering cameos with the bat or ball in the tournament. In fact, he opened the batting for Afghanistan chasing a score of 397 against England and provided a quickfire 28-ball 37. He has also picked up 5 wickets in five matches so far. His dynamic ability could be valuable against India today.