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Indian batters come up against the rampant Afghanistan bowling

India and Afghanistan are set to clash for their first super-eights fixture in Bridgetown. The head-to-head record is comfortably in India’s favor, however, these two sides produced one of the greatest T20Is ever which was decided after two super overs. However, a lot more is at stake this time around hence both sides are expected to be careful with every step they take.

Afghanistan will once again be relying on the world-class bowling attack they possess. Their bowlers have enjoyed slow conditions so far and not only the spinners have thrived, but the fast bowlers have also turned up on the occasion. Their next assignment is getting past a strong Indian batting line-up, one that hasn’t lived up to their name so far in the tournament. 

Virat Kohli has been opening alongside Rohit Sharma but is yet to cross single digits, in fact, has a highest score of just 4. If Afghan bowlers, specifically Fazalhaq Farooqi, can get early breakthroughs of both the openers, the spinners can then look to dominate the middle order. However, Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant have both shown good form with the bat recently, with Suryakumar safely guiding his team home against the USA and Pant rescuing his side after early wickets at the top against Pakistan. 

Afghanistan’s captain Rashid Khan is perhaps one of the greatest T20 bowling icons in the history of the format, however, he hasn’t done all too well against India and current Indian batters do have a really good record against him  Suryakumar Yadav has scored at a strike rate of 148 against Rashid and Shivam Dube scores at 155 but with a smaller sample size of 18 balls. With Afghanistan relying hugely on their bowling attack and India having a good record against them, a lot depends on Afghanistan’s batting.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz has been in outstanding form this tournament and most hopes will be on him to counter one of the best bowling attacks in this World Cup. Not only does Gurbaz have runs under his belt, but he has scored them at a really fast pace.  However, the stature of Indian bowling might now allow him to take risks at will. 

India have been keeping Kuldeep Yadav on the bench so far and might do the same for this match too as the combination has worked well so far. Axar Patel is expected to be the X-factor as Afghanistan have only two left-handers in their top eight. The fast-bowling trio of Jasprit Bumran, Mohammad Siraj, and Arshdeep Singh on their day are enough to rattle any batting line-up and with Axar and Ravindra Jadeja to bowling in the middle, Afghan batters have a big task in front of them.

Rashid Khan also does not need to overthink his playing XI even after a tough defeat against the West Indies in their final group-stage fixture. The combination has been working well for him and is good enough to trouble the mighty India. Noor Ahmad with his chinemen wrist spin can prove to be the surprise package for Indian batters.

Bridgetown has been a batting-friendly venue and has hosted one of the three games that produced a 200-plus score. The weather forecast remains clear throughout the game and the game should conclude uninterrupted.