Gulbadin Naib, on Saturday, missed a golden chance to become the first Afghanistan captain to lead his country to a win over India. Afghanistan gave India a mighty scare before losing the thriller by 11 runs. While Afghanistan are definitely a talented side, not many had given them even an outside chance of challenging India let alone beating the two-time world champions.
However, the least experienced side in this World Cup gave India a run for their money before losing the cliffhanger. Batting first, India started disastrously as they lost their in-form opener Rohit Sharma for just 1. Mujeeb Ur Rahman castled Rohit with a gem of a delivery. A 57-run stand between KL Rahul and Virat Kohli steadied the ship before the former played a rash shot to get out.
India were looking on course for a big total when Kohli was batting. However, once he departed after scoring 66, the other batsmen struggled to time their shots on the tough pitch. MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav then steadied the innings but could not score freely. Jadhav went on to score his fifty but managed only 52 runs from 68 balls. Hardik Pandya also struggled to bat freely as India finished on a modest total.
In reply, Afghanistan remained in contention throughout. India kept the scoring rate under check and took wickets at crucial junctures but Mohammad Nabi made life difficult for them. Nabi scored a fighting fifty and remained till the last over before Mohammed Shami finished off things. With 16 runs needed from the final over, Nabi hit the first ball for a four. However, Shami picked up a sensational hat-trick to guide India to a thrilling win.
But despite the close loss, Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib was all praise for Team India. In fact, the way he spoke about India, he looked more like a fan than the skipper of the opposition team. He called India his favourite team and Virat Kohli his favourite team while speaking to journalists.
Here is the clip showing Gulbadin Naib going gaga over India:
— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) June 23, 2019