India had an off day in business as Afghanistan bowlers produced a scintillating effort to restrict the Men in Blues for 225 runs at the Rose Bowl Cricket Stadium in Southampton. During the innings, former India skipper MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma registered unwanted records.
Batting first after winning the toss, Rohit Sharma got out in the fifth over off Mujeeb-ur-Rahman to have India in dire trouble. Rohit’s dismissal against Mujeeb was the first occasion in the World Cup when an Indian batsman got out by a spinner in the tournament. India played well against the spinners of South Africa, Australia and Pakistan in their first three games which failed to do any damage.
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The Afghan spinners were right on the money as the Indian batsmen struggled to cut loose. The likes of KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, had to focus mainly on singles before throwing away their wickets. Virat Kohli led the batting bringing in his third half-century of the World Cup. He batted with great authority before a miscued shot off Mohammad Nabi got Kohli out. The dismissal of the Indian skipper saw Kedar Jadhav join hands with MS Dhoni in the middle.
The former India skipper struggled to get away against the spinners as they bowled some good line and length. Rashid Khan, who had a dismal outing in the last match against England, bounced back in style in this match. He foxed Dhoni with a regular leg-break as young Ikram Alikhil did the rest behind the stumps. It is only the second time MS Dhoni has been stumped in an ODI. The last time was against West Indies in the 2011 World Cup. Dhoni’s batting has come under severe criticism as his strike rate was just over 50 scoring 28 runs off 52 balls.