The three-match T20I series between India and Afghanistan has reached its final game, and it presents a crucial opportunity for India to fine-tune their playing XI ahead of the T20 World Cup. With India leading the series 2-0, the focus is not only on securing another victory but also on giving some promising players a chance to prove themselves and secure their spot in the mega tournament.
|India vs Afghanistan 3rd T20I
|IND won 2nd Super Over
|Super Over 1
|Super Over 2
|M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
|Date & Time
|Wed, Jan 17, 07:00 PM IST
|IND opt to bat
|Player of the Match: Rohit Sharma
|Player of the Series: Shivam Dube
India won the toss and chose to bat first. In an unfortunate turn of events, India lost 4 wickets during the powerplay while adding a mere 30 runs to their total. Yashasvi Jaiswal's innings was cut short after scoring just 4 runs off 6 balls and getting caught out. Virat Kohli and Sanju Samson both faced their very first ball but were dismissed without scoring any runs. Shivam Dube failed to make an impact today, adding only 1 run off 6 balls before returning back. On the other hand, Rohit Sharma scored 13 runs off 18 balls with 2 fours and is continuing to make valuable contributions to the team's total score.
Rohit Sharma and Rinku Singh formed a strong partnership of 190 runs off just 95 balls. Rohit Sharma, in particular, showcased his exceptional batting skills by smashing an unbeaten century of 121 runs from just 69 balls, hitting an impressive 11 fours and 8 sixes. On the other hand, Rinku Singh played a crucial role in the partnership by contributing an unbeaten 69 runs from only 39 balls, which included 2 fours and 6 sixes. As a result of their outstanding performance, India managed to post a total score of 212 runs on the scoreboard, despite losing 4 wickets along the way.
In their quest to achieve a target of 213 runs, the opening batsmen of Afghanistan, Gurbaz and Ibrahim, stepped onto the crease. The team made an impressive start during the powerplay, adding 51 runs to the scoreboard without losing a single wicket. Gurbaz showcased his skills by scoring 21 runs off just 15 balls, including one boundary and two maximums. Ibrahim also contributed significantly with 27 runs off 21 deliveries, hitting three fours in the process.
Gurbaz impressively achieved his well-deserved fifty in just 29 balls, hitting 3 boundaries and 4 maximums. However, he unfortunately got caught out and had to make his way back to the pavilion after making a significant contribution to the team. Following his departure, Ibrahim also made a commendable half-century off 41 deliveries, including 4 boundaries and 1 six, before returning to the pavilion.
Gulbadin Naib showcased an outstanding performance, scoring an impressive 55 runs off just 23 balls, including 4 boundaries and 4 sixes. Similarly, Mohammad Nabi contributed significantly with a solid innings of 34 runs from 16 deliveries, which included 2 fours and 3 sixes. The match ultimately ended in a tie after the completion of the thrilling 20 overs and had to be decided by a super over.
Super Over 1
In the Super Over, Afghanistan (AFG) scored a total of 16 runs while losing just 1 wicket. Mukesh Kumar executed the Super Over on behalf of India. Gulbadin Naib and Gurbaz were the opening batsmen. Unfortunately, Naib was run out after scoring only 1 run. Mohammad Nabi then partnered with Gurbaz, and together they accumulated a noteworthy total of 15 runs.
In pursuit of the target of 17 runs, India's opening batsmen Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal took to the field for the Super Over. Azmatullah Omarzai from Afghanistan executed the super over. Yashasvi scored 1 run off 1 ball, while Rohit Sharma played a match-winning game by scoring 13 runs off just 4 balls, including 2 sixes. Unfortunately, Rohit got injured and had to retire hurt. Rinku joined Yashasvi on the crease. The strike changed hands and Yashasvi scored another run, leveling the score once again. The match then went into another Super Over.
Super Over 2
India started their innings with Rohit Sharma and Rinku Singh this time. Qais Ahmad delivered an exceptional super over for Afghanistan. In just 3 balls, Rohit Sharma managed to score 11 runs. However, as the strike went to Rinku, he unfortunately got caught behind the wickets. Sanju Samson then joined Rohit on the crease, but unfortunately, Rohit was run out. India ultimately posted a total of 11 runs on the board.
In their quest to achieve a target of 12 runs, Afghanistan commenced their batting innings with Gurbaz and Nabi at the crease. Ravi Bishnoi spearheaded India's bowling attack for this particular over. Unfortunately for Afghanistan, Nabi was dismissed on the very first ball, leaving Karim Janat to partner with Gurbaz. However, Gurbaz also fell victim to a catch, resulting in India emerging victorious in the match.
The final match of the series will take place at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on January 17 at 7:00 PM.
M. Chinnaswamy Stadium Pitch Report
The stadium has a reputation for being a batter's paradise, with short boundaries and flat pitches. As a result, a high-scoring encounter can be expected. Opting to bowl first may be advantageous, and any total above 200 would be considered a good score.
India's Promising Performances in the Series
In the first two matches of the series, several young Indian players showcased their talent and potential. Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shivam Dube, Rinku Singh, and Jitesh Sharma have impressed with their performances, and this third match provides them another opportunity to make their mark and strengthen their case for selection in the T20 World Cup squad.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli Seeking Redemption
While the young guns have shone brightly, the series has been a bit disappointing for the experienced duo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Rohit has failed to open his account in both T20Is so far, and he will be eager to end the series on a high note. Kohli, on the other hand, got a good start in the last match but couldn't convert it into a big score. Both players will be determined to make amends and contribute significantly in the final game.
Afghanistan's Consistency Concerns
Afghanistan, on the other hand, has struggled with consistency throughout the series. Without the experienced Rashid Khan in the bowling department, they have found it challenging to contain the Indian batsmen. Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Nabi have been the only ones who have managed to make an impact with the bat for Afghanistan so far.
Probable Playing XIs
India Playing XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Shivam Dube, Sanju Samson (wk), Rinku Singh, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mukesh Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Avesh Khan
Bench: Tilak Varma, Shubman Gill, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Jitesh Sharma
Support Staff: Rahul Dravid, Vikram Rathour, Paras Mhambrey
Afghanistan Playing XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran (c), Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Qais Ahmad, Mohammad Saleem Safi, Fareed Ahmad Malik
Bench: Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hazratullah Zazai, Ikram Alikhil, Rahmat Shah
Support Staff: Jonathan Trott, Raees Ahmadzai, Hamid Hassan, Ryan Maron
Key Performers to Watch Out For
In the previous matches, some players have stood out with their performances. Shivam Dube, the Indian all-rounder, has been in remarkable form, scoring back-to-back half-centuries against Afghanistan. His aggressive style of play has troubled the visitors, and he will be a key player to watch out for in the final match. Axar Patel, who was named Player of the Match in the second T20I, has been India's best bowler so far. He has consistently bowled with precision and control, making him a vital asset for the team.
Today's Match Prediction
Considering the performances in the previous matches and the overall balance of the two teams, India is predicted to win the final match of the series. However, cricket is an unpredictable game, and anything can happen on the day. The prediction is solely based on the understanding, analysis, and instincts of the author.
The third T20I between India and Afghanistan holds great significance for both teams. India will be aiming to extend their winning streak and finalize their playing XI for the T20 World Cup, while Afghanistan will be eager to salvage a victory and gain some momentum. With the stage set at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, cricket fans can look forward to an exciting encounter filled with explosive batting and competitive bowling.