T20 World Cup: India need to win this match at any cost to stay afloat in the tournament.© AFP
India face Afghanistan in a must-win match in the Super 12 stage of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi and there is a lot at stake for both teams. India need to win this match at any cost to stay afloat in the tournament after their crushing defeats at the hands of Pakistan and New Zealand. A victory against Afghanistan although might not be enough for Virat Kohli and his men as they would also need the Afghans to beat New Zealand later in the tournament. Kohli’s team also need to win big against Namibia and Scotland to stand any chance of making the semis. It is a tough ask and the ‘Men in Blue’ need to perform.
Here is the predicted XI that we think India should field to counter the threat posed by the Afghans:
1. Rohit Sharma: Rohit Sharma should return to the top of the order after the Ishan Kishan punt misfired against New Zealand.
2. KL Rahul: He has looked very tentative and the time has come for Rahul to showcase his true colours. India need him to showcase the form that saw him destroy bowling attacks in the IPL.
3. Virat Kohli: The India captain needs to lead from the front with the bat and will be crucial against some top-class spinners in the Afghanistan line-up.
4. Suryakumar Yadav: Suryakumar should return to the playing XI if he is fit. He adds an x-factor to the batting unit and it should come handy against a strong bowling side like Afghanistan.
5. Ishan Kishan: The opening gamble didn’t work but India should persist with Kishan in place of Hardik as the all-rounder is neither bowling and nor is he contributing with the bat.
6. Rishabh Pant: The wicket-keeper batter struggled against New Zealand but he showed good hitting form against Pakistan and will be crucial in the death overs.
7. Ravindra Jadeja: India’s highest scorer in the last match, India need Jadeja the bowler to pick some wickets too.
8. Shardul Thakur: Didn’t get a chance to create an impact in the last outing, Thakur should provide India with much needed depth in batting and bowling.
9. Ravichandran Ashwin: Ashwin has the experience needed to perform in a crunch match like this one. He should walk into the playing XI in place of Varun Chakaravarthy.
10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Shami has looked off colour and India should bring Bhuvneshwar back into the playing XI to make the most of his expertise in the death overs.
11. Jasprit Bumrah: Bumrah picked up two wickets against New Zealand and looked in a league of his own as compared to his teammates. He will hold the key against Afghanistan’s struggling top order.
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