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regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 July 2024

Time to cut out flaws in Super Eight contest, India set for Afghanistan clash amid batting woes

Agreed, Afghanistan aren’t the strongest in India’s pool, but make no mistake, th­ese Afghans are a spirited group and will be approaching the tournament’s second phase with a fresh mindset

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 20.06.24, 06:22 AM
India captain Rohit Sharma during practice in Bridgetown, ahead of the Super 8 match against Afghanistan.

India captain Rohit Sharma during practice in Bridgetown, ahead of the Super 8 match against Afghanistan. PTI

The appointment of the next Team India head coach has been the talking point back home. It won’t be too surprising if it has now found a place in the team’s dressing room as well.

However, one can only hope that being professionals, the Indian team will be focusing primarily on this Super 8 phase of the ongoing T20 World Cup, where even one lapse is capable of hurting the side badly.

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Captain Rohit Sharma and his team begin their Super 8 campaign against Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Thursday. Agreed, Afghanistan aren’t the strongest in India’s pool, but make no mistake, th­ese Afghans are a spirited group and will be approaching the tournament’s second phase with a fresh mindset.

As for India, there isn’t much to think about their bowling, other than whether to draft in chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav at the expense of a pacer (probably Mohammed Siraj), given the conditions in Bridgetown. “It’s tough to leave anyone out,” head coach Rahul Dravid said on Wednesday.

“But here, the conditions are slightly different. So, we might need something different here. Yuzi (Yuzvendra Chahal) or Kuldeep could be in.”

But it’s their batting where India could be a bit concerned, especially with their opening combination. And that has got to do with Virat Kohli’s current form.

Obviously, Kohli, skipper Rohit and the other big names in this Indian line-up will have better batting conditions than what they faced in New York. But, that outside off-stump line has again bugged Kohli, who tallies just five runs so far in the competition.

If Afghanistan pacer, Faz­alhaq Farooqi, gets the ball to swing both ways, it will be a test for Kohli. And for the other Indian batters as well.

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