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T20 World Cup 2021, India vs Afghanistan (Super 12) Preview: IND desperate for win in doe-or-die clash

India has suffered losses in its opening two games of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. In a do-or-die situation, it takes on Afghanistan in the Super 12 stage of the tournament in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021, IND vs AFG (Super 12) Preview: Team analysis, head-to-head, pitch, probable, fantasy xi-ayh
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates, First Published Nov 3, 2021, 7:30 AM IST

Former champion India is in a precarious situation, having lost its opening two matches of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. As it stares at an early exit, it is in a do-or-die position while taking on Afghanistan in its Group 2's Super 12 stage at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Here is the match preview of this tie.

Current form
India has played a couple of games in the Super 12 stage, losing both, despite winning performances in the two preceding warm-up matches. As for Afghanistan, it has played three and won a couple, while its net run rate is also promising. Also, it won and lost a match each in the warm-ups. Going by the current form, momentum might favour the Afghans, but India can see this through, considering that it is in a desperate situation right now.

LIVE SCORECARD: ICC T20 World Cup 2021, India vs Afghanistan (Super 12)

Team strength & weaknesses, and players to watch out
As for the teams, India is evenly balanced, while its strength and weaknesses are evenly distributed. However, it has been a lacklustre show from the batters so far, while its bowling might have to work extra hard to make up for it. Skipper Virat Kohli Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma are the ones who would be drawing considerable attention. Plus, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur and Varun Chakravarthy will have a task at hand with the ball.

On the other hand, Afghanistan is somewhat firm with the bat. Its bowling also has superstars who can rattle the Indian batting line-up in no time. Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Shahzad would be the ones who are likely to fire with the bat, while Rashid Khan and Mujeed-ur-Rahman would be quirky with their extensive spins.

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Injury concerns, head-to-head, weather and pitch report
India has no injury concerns, while Afghanistan would miss the services of Asghar Afghan, who retired after the last game. The two teams have played each other on two occasions, in the competition itself, with India winning on both occasions. The Abu Dhabi weather would be hot, with the expected temperature being 31 degrees and 67% humidity. The track would be batting friendly while keeping the dew factor in mind, sides would look to chase.

Probable XI
Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy and Jasprit Bumrah.
Afghanistan: azratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi (c), Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq and Hamid Hassan.

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Fantasy XI
Kohli, Zadran, Zazai- Zazai would start well as an opener, while Kohli and Zadran can fire both at the top and middle-order.
Wicketkeeper: Shahzad, Pant- Shahzad has been the man in the best form, while Pant has also been decent and can fire on the Abu Dhabi tracks.
All-rounders: Jadeja, Nabi, Naib- Jadeja and Nabi would rule with their spin, while Naib has been decent with the bat.
Bowlers: Bumrah, Rashid (c), Mujeeb (vc)- Bumrah would be the prime pacer who would make an impact, while Rashid and Mujeeb are sure to be lethal with their effective spins. The spin duo definitely is the spinner and deputy captain, respectively.

Match details
Date and day:
November 3, 2021 (Wednesday)
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar

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