Indian captain Virat Kohli batting in the nets.© AFP
India take on Afghanistan in a must-win match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Virat Kohli’s men need to put behind the setbacks of two crushing defeats at the hands of arch-rivals Pakistan and New Zealand and put their best foot forward against Mohammad Nabi’s outfit. Afghanistan are currently in the second spot in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup, while India are struggling with no points and a very poor net run-rate.
But all of that can change if Kohli’s men counter the threat posed by the Afghan spinners and register a big win. Pakistan have already booked their place in the semifinals after their fourth win on the trot, as they beat Namibia on Tuesday night.
As things stand, India need to beat Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland by huge margins to make up for their dismal net-run-rate of -1.609.
But that will not be enough. They would have to hope that Afghanistan beat New Zealand in their final outing in the group, but not by a huge margin as that would give the Afghans a good chance of qualifying as they have a brilliant net-run-rate of 3.097, which is even better than that of group leaders Pakistan.
There are other scenarios open too, in which the Kiwis must lose to either Scotland or Namibia, but that looks quite unlikely given how the teams stack up.
India, thus, will have to record a landslide win over Afghanistan to not just improve their run-rate but also bring the Afghans’ run-rate down.
All is definitely not over for Virat Kohli’s team but the road ahead is a tough one. They will have to show their best form in the remaining matches and hope for luck to shine on them too.
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