Vinod Rai, India, Pakistan
Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Afghanistan will look to restore some pride when they meet India in their final match of the Super 4 round in the Asia Cup. The Men in Blue have been the only unbeaten team in the tournament so far. After surviving a scare against Hong Kong, India has thrashed Pakistan twice and have made light work of Bangladesh. They have been by far the most dominant side in the tournament and will look to register yet another convincing victory before going into the final of the tournament slated to be played on 28th September.

The Men in Blue has been quite spectacular in all 3 departments of the game. The top order has come in handy and has scored the bulk of the runs for India. Shikhar Dhawan has already smashed a couple of centuries in the tournament so far. On the other hand, Rohit Sharma has also scored three 50+ scores in the tournament so far including a brilliant century against Pakistan in the previous encounter.

India might think about changing some personnel for the dead rubber

The fast bowling department has also come in handy for India with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah doing the majority of the work. The wrist spinners finally came into their own in the previous clash after a few mediocre days. Yuzvendra Chahal was quite superb and bagged some crucial wickets in the middle overs to stem the run flow for Pakistan.

India, Afghanistan, Super Four, Asia Cup 2018, Preview
India have been the most dominant side in the tournament by far. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

Given it is an inconsequential match and they have already qualified for the final, India might be tempted to rest a few players for the match. The temperatures in Dubai has been extreme. Hence rest might well be the order of the day for some of the premier Indian players. Ravindra Jadeja’s inclusion has also helped India find the perfect combination. After a great comeback against Bangladesh, he went for a few runs in the previous match against Pakistan.

The Afghans have been quite unlucky in the tournament so far. Despite playing so well, they have been eliminated from the tournament after a couple of close defeats against Pakistan and Bangladesh. They have put up an inspired performance all through the tournament. The results for both the matches could have been different especially after the sort of performance given by Afghanistan.

Their batting order has come in handy on most occasions. However, the scores they have put up hasn’t been enough especially in the last couple of games. Rashid Khan has been the star yet again with his brilliant all-round performance. Mujeeb-ur-Rahman has also done a good job. However, it hasn’t been enough to help Afghanistan get over the line. They will be eager to put up a disciplined show against India.

Team Combinations

India

The Men in Blue might opt for a few changes given the fact that they have already decided their fate. After qualifying for the final with a match to go there might be some changes. Shikhar Dhawan might well be rested in favour of KL Rahul. However, nothing is certain as of now. Ambati Rayudu might also be rested in favour of Rahul. Meanwhile, among the bowlers, Khaleel Ahmed could return for the dead rubber in favour of Jasprit Bumrah.

Probable XI:  Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul/Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey/Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah/Khaleel Ahmed

Afghanistan

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Asia Cup 2018, Super Four, Preview
Afghanistan have competed quite brilliantly in the tournament so far. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

In all likelihood, Afghanistan is expected to retain the same XI which has served them so well in the tournament so far. They have been eliminated from the tournament. However, they will definitely look to finish on a high.

Probable XI: Mohammad Shahzad, Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari/ Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Gulbadin Naib, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

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Match Predictions

There is no doubt about the fact that India will start as favourites like any other game in the tournament. Afghanistan has competed quite brilliantly in the tournament. However, India has been way ahead than any of their opponents. Hence they will be looking to complete another easy victory. However, it won’t be a straightforward job for the Men in Blue

Arya chakraborty

A Cricket Expert who loves revolving his life around the game. An extremely passionate music lover who loves singing and listening to Arijit Singh songs.