In the final T20I series before the highly anticipated T20 World Cup 2024, India vs Afghanistan T20I Series in a three-match showdown. With only the IPL scheduled after this series, this becomes India’s sole T20I assignment before the global spectacle. Let’s delve into the key aspects, player insights, and expectations surrounding this series.
Return of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli
- Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli make their T20I comeback for India, marking their return since the 2022 T20 World Cup.
- However, Kohli will miss the first game due to personal reasons.
Opening Pair Dynamics
- Head coach Rahul Dravid confirms Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal as India’s preferred T20I openers, aiming for a dynamic left-right combination.
- Jaiswal’s aggressive approach in the powerplay positions him favorably against other contenders.
Afghanistan’s Build-up to T20 World Cup
- Afghanistan, coming off the 2023 ODI World Cup, plans to utilize the nine T20Is before the T20 World Cup to finalize their playing XI.
- Key players like Rashid Khan are rested, allowing others like Ibrahim Zadran to lead and contribute.
Strategic Squad Selection
- India faces challenges in the absence of Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya due to injuries.
- Youngsters like Tilak Varma and Rinku Singh, along with bowlers Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, and Mukesh Kumar, get opportunities to showcase their talent.
Probable Playing XIs:
Rohit Sharma(c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shivam Dube, Jitesh Sharma(w), Rinku Singh, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran (c), Rahmat Shah, Azmatullah Omarzai, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Karim Janat, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Pitch and Conditions
- Mohali has favored chasing teams, with 26 out of 40 T20s won by teams batting second.
- The team winning the toss might opt to bowl first, taking advantage of potential dew, although Afghanistan captain Ibrahim Zadran notes limited dew in recent days.
Stats and Trivia
- India has lost 11 consecutive tosses, a statistical rarity.
- Rohit Sharma needs 147 runs to join Virat Kohli in the 4000 T20I runs club.
- Virat Kohli needs
- Mohammad Nabi eyes the milestone of 2000 runs and 100 wickets in T20Is.
- Rahul Dravid emphasizes Rinku Singh’s impressive performance and potential selection for the T20 World Cup.
- Ibrahim Zadran expresses Afghanistan’s focus on improving batting skills.
The India vs Afghanistan T20I series serves as a critical final rehearsal for India, providing a glimpse into their strategies and player dynamics ahead of the T20 World Cup. As the teams clash, fans eagerly anticipate thrilling encounters and insights that will shape the narrative leading up to the global cricket spectacle.