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Why Team India Shouldn't Take Afghanistan Challenge Lightly?

The matchup between India's middle-order and Afghanistan's spinners will be crucial in Barbados due to the pitch's nature.
04:30 PM Jun 20, 2024 IST | Shashwat Nishant
why team india shouldn t take afghanistan challenge lightly
Afghanistan IND vs AFG

IND vs AFG: During the Group Stages, Afghanistan have dismissed three of their four opponents for under 100 runs. As India prepares to face Afghanistan in their Super Eight match in Barbados, they know the Afghan attack's potency and versatility. The Bridgetown pitch has so far offered a balanced contest between bat and ball, but the in-form Afghan attack could tip the scales.

Bowler-Friendly Pitch To Haunt Indian Batters Against Afghanistan?

The pitch in Barbados has favored fast bowlers in this tournament, with left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi standing out for Afghanistan. Despite playing on generally placid Caribbean pitches, Farooqi has been impressive with the new ball, taking 12 wickets at an average of just 6.66 runs per wicket. The 23-year-old excels at swinging the new ball both ways and will likely challenge Rohit Sharma with in-swingers before testing him with outswingers. Farooqi's ability to bowl consistently on the fourth stump line makes him a threat to Virat Kohli as well.

However, Afghanistan's concern lies in the middle overs when Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi come into the attack. Their records against India are not impressive; Rashid has yet to take a wicket against India in internationals and has an economy rate of 8.63, while Nabi has taken just one wicket in seven games, with an economy rate of 10.87. The average first and second innings run rates in Barbados since 2010 are 7.65 and 7.35, respectively, which is better than what Rashid and Nabi have managed against India.

The matchup between India's middle-order and Afghanistan's spinners will be crucial in Barbados due to the pitch's nature. Statistics suggest that batting first is advantageous as the wicket slows down over time. Even within the same innings, the pitch has shown variability. For instance, during the Australia-England clash earlier in the tournament, both teams scored heavily during the Powerplay but struggled to maintain the momentum as the ball got older and softer.

To counter the spin threat, India's middle-order batsmen Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Dube will need to excel with their distinct boundary-hitting techniques.

Also Read: Former Team India Cricketer Dies After Tragic Incident In Bengaluru

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