Legendary Indian batter Sunil Gavaskar warned India that Afghanistan won’t be an easy opponent to deal with.
For Virat Kohli & co, this match will be a must-win game to keep their slender hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals.
India have lost both their games against Pakistan and New Zealand in Group 2. They will be up against a dynamic Afghanistan side that have won two of their three fixtures and will be vying to win this match to contend for a spot in the semis.
Afghanistan ran India close in the 50 overs World Cup: Sunil Gavaskar
Gavaskar reminded India of their nail-biting contest against Afghanistan in the 2019 World Cup, where the former won by 11 runs in Southampton.
“Afghanistan won’t be easy opponents. They ran India close in the 50 overs World Cup two years back, and it was excitement and inexperience that did them in that time. The T20 format is the one they love.
“They have mystery spinners and batsmen who love to smash the ball. Above all, they have Rashid Khan. So, India know they have a fight on their hands,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Times of India.
“Here’s where champion teams pick themselves up from the floor and come hard at the opponents. India have champion players, no doubt about that at all. But do they have that fight, that hunger to win after being softened up by Pakistan and New Zealand?” Gavaskar further added.
India need to win their remaining matches by massive margins: Sunil Gavaskar
India were dubbed as favourites to win the tournament, but nothing ticked according to their way as they have miserably struggled, especially with the bat.
India’s fate in the tournament depends on other teams’ results as well, and they must ensure they win all the games by huge margins.
“We have also heard captains and coaches saying they are not afraid to lose while going for a win. It’s easy to say that when you know your position is secure even if you lose. Now is the time to show it,” Gavaskar mentioned.
“For India to have that chance to qualify, they need wins by massive margins in their games against Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia. Then if New Zealand falter somewhere, they have that slim crack in the door to barge in,” he added.
India will take on Afghanistan in a climactic clash on Wednesday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.