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Asia Cup Super Four: India vs Afghanistan Preview + Dream11

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Asia Cup Super Four: India vs Afghanistan Preview + Dream11 Cricket Blog CricBlog Cricket Preview

It is a real shame there isn’t more riding on this game. India are in the Final thanks to wins over Bangladesh and Pakistan, but Afghanistan could have very well been in the exact same predicament. Instead, this game will be a dead rubber, but also an opportunity for both sides to perform well, for different reasons.

India have an opportunity to experiment, which is important as they attempt to fine tune their preparations for next year’s World Cup. The middle order, which has not been tested in the last three games, remains a concern, so this is the game where India should test a few different combinations. Their bowling and fielding has been, for the most part, simply outstanding, and an undefeated tournament is on the cards ahead of the Final.

Afghanistan will be heading home after this, but in another universe, they would be in the Final. Heartbreaking losses to Pakistan and Bangladesh has seen them eliminated, but the cricket they have played in this tournament actually puts a case forward that they have been the second best side. Can they be a nuisance to an India side that has brushed aside Pakistan and Bangladesh in their last three games? Can Afghanistan build even more optimism about their future?

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Key to an India win

India’s last three games have read: 572 runs conceded in 142.2 overs, at an average of 21.19 and run rate of just over four. Slow pitches or not, that is a remarkable return, and has been the core of their success so far in Asia Cup 2018.
Afghanistan’s batting has held up well in this tournament, with their own lowest score being 246 the other day against Bangladesh. But, a quality bowling attack like India’s can be too good for a side already knowing their fate, and unlike Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the Indians maintain the pressure right throughout the innings. Can they do it again ahead of the Final?
Also, today would be a good day to see how the middle order fares against a quality Afghanistan spin attack. Will the top order be too good again, even if Shikhar Dhawan is rested? An opportunity awaits India to keep the momentum going, despite a likely change in personnel.

Asia Cup Super Four: India vs Afghanistan Preview + Dream11 Cricket Blog CricBlog Cricket Preview
Sharma and Dhawan have been immense for India

Key to an Afghanistan win

The two best spin attacks go head-to-head today, and there is little doubt that Afghanistan’s spinners need to play a big role today. Mujeeb Ur Rahman at the top is key, given he will be mostly relied on to breakthrough early, as the Afghan seamers have left a little to be desired in Asia Cup 2018.

India’s middle order faltered against Hong Kong (which seems like an age ago now), so can Afghanistan give themselves a real shot at it?

Also, given India will likely bowl first and Afghanistan bat first, runs on the board are vital. Bangladesh and Pakistan have struggled to get on top of India’s well-rounded attack. Can Afghanistan, led by the likes of Mohmmad Shahzad, Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi, give Afghanistan a competitive total?

PS, looking to improve your cricketing skills? More wickets? More runs? More fun? Check out some great tips from Cricket Secrets! You can visit here.

Possible teams

Expect India to make changes, with a spot in the Final secured. KL Rahul could come in for Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey for Dinesh Karthik and Khaleel Ahmed for one of the seamers.
India possible XI: 1. Rohit Sharma (c), 2. KL Rahul, 3. Ambati Rayudu, 4. Manish Pandey/Dinesh Karthik, 5. MS Dhoni (wk), 6. Kedar Jadhav, 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Khaleel Ahmed, 9. Kuldeep Yadav, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, 11. Jasprit Bumrah
Afghanistan could stick largely with the same XI that has made strides in Asia Cup 2018. Changes, though, could be made in their pace attack, which hasn’t had the best of tournaments.
Afghanistan possible XI: 1. Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 2. Ihsanullah Janat, 3. Rahmat Shah, 4. Hashmatullah Shahidi, 5. Asghar Afghan (c), 6. Mohammad Nabi, 7. Najibullah Zadran/Samiullah Shenwari, 8. Sayed Shirzad/Gulbadin Naib, 9. Rashid Khan, 10. Aftab Alam, 11. Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Dream11

Interesting game for Dream11, with a few changes for either side expected. Below is my team, with a few pointers.
  • Mohammad Shahzad has batted pretty well in the last couple of games, and I don’t know how much batting MS Dhoni will do. Dhoni’s lowish price is tempting, though.
  • Rohit Sharma’s imperious form means he is a good pick, and so too KL Rahul who will be keen to take his chance. Ambati Rayudu will be keen to prove his worth, too. So, with the possibility of Sharma, KL Rahul, Rayudu and Dhoni making up the India top four, it is tempting to have all four.
  • Hashmatullah Shahidi has three 50s in a row for Afghanistan.
  • Ravindra Jadeja might enjoy himself against the Afghanistan batting, and Mohammad Nabi will do lots of bowling.
  • India dominate the bowling, with Rashid Khan my Afghanistan pick. 
Keen to have a go yourself? Join me today and register here!

Stats and Facts

  • India beat Afghanistan by eight wickets in Asia Cup 2014, the last meeting between these sides.
  • Hashmatullah Shahidi finds himself in the top three for run scorers this tournament (263), behind Rohit Sharma (269) and Shikhar Dhawan (327).
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar needs four wickets to reach 100 in ODIs.

Prediction

With Tuesday a working day in Dubai, and with this being a dead-rubber, expect the crowd to look like they are dressed as blue seats.
Afghanistan have impressed so much in this tournament, but I think this match will be too tough for them. They will be more competitive than the 2014 clash, but India will take out victory.
Thanks for reading!

PS, looking to improve your cricketing skills? More wickets? More runs? More fun? Check out some great tips from Cricket Secrets! You can visit here.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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