Asia Cup 2022: Out of sorts India face tricky Afghanistan

138
Asia Cup 2022: Out of sorts India face tricky Afghanistan
Asia Cup 2022: Out of sorts India face tricky Afghanistan

Asia Cup 2022: Out of sorts India face tricky Afghanistan

Asia Cup 2022: A dishevelled Rohit Sharma-led India would prefer to get their act together before playing a brave Afghanistan team that may be a proverbial “banana peel” in the final Super 4 match of the Asia Cup on Thursday. India is all but eliminated from contention for the summit match.

The Indian squad hasn’t played to its full ability at the Super 4 stage, and their consecutive demoralising losses to Pakistan and Sri Lanka can also be attributed to a lack of resources and bad team management.

Lack of planning flexibility is the current Indian team’s problem. And head coach Rahul Dravid may take some of the blame.

Since the squad doesn’t appear to have a backup plan, it appears that Dravid is reluctant to make some difficult team selections.

A team from Afghanistan that features top-tier T20 players like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Mohammed Nabi, Hazratullah Zazai, and the intriguing Rahamanullah Gurbaz can truly make a splash in this situation.

This squad can intimidate the enemy with its attack leader Rashid. And chase down targets in the 170-plus area while also limiting the opposition to reasonable totals.

Asia Cup 2022: Out of sorts India face tricky Afghanistan
Asia Cup 2022: Out of sorts India face tricky Afghanistan

Their overall inexperience from not often playing the stronger cricketing nations works against them as a squad. T20, however, is one format in which a single match can significantly tip the scales.

There are many such guys on the Afghanistan team who can upset the apple cart.

In terms of India, neither the head coach nor the skipper, Rohit Sharma, have yet demonstrated a desire. To alter the batting order and consider alternative lineups.

It will be intriguing to observe if Rishabh Pant or Deepak Hooda are benched for the championship game in favour of Dinesh Karthik.

The skipper justified the decision by saying that the presence of two aggressive Sri Lankan openers (Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis) prevented him from introducing the Baroda man into the attack. Hooda, who batted at No. 7, was not given an over to bowl.

The Sri Lankan game also demonstrated that India cannot afford to field Hardik Pandya as the fifth bowler with a specialty. Because doing so would place a significant pressure on the all-rounder.

With three wickets, Yuzvendra Chahal did regain his form. But India would need someone like Deepak Chahar, who has to tested ahead of the T20 World Cup.

While Rohit has performed well against both Pakistan and Sri Lanka. One would anticipate the captain to make an inspired decision and switch up the top three for a few games. To see whether there has been a noticeable improvement in both the results and the strategy.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s subpar penultimate overs in back-to-back games have contributed to India’s inability to win games in extra time. Only seven runs left for the youthful Arshdeep Singh to defend in both games as a result.

However, Skipper Rohit cautioned everyone against being too critical of Bhuvneshwar.

“Even experienced bowlers go for runs. Bhuvi has been playing for us for so many years. And has won us so many matches in death overs,” Rohit said in his senior seamer’s defence.

SQUADS

India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar.

Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (C), Najibullah Zadran (VC), Afsar Zazai (WK), Azmatullah Omarzai, Farid Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Mujib ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen ul Haq, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Rashid Khan and Samiullah Shinwari.