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India Squad for Afghanistan T20Is: Will Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli's Comeback Boost Team's Performance?

India vs Afghanistan T20I series in 2024, including the squad, schedule, and key players to watch out for in this highly anticipated cricket series. Stay updated and be prepared for the thrilling matches between these two teams.

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By Mystic Vivan
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India vs Afghanistan T20I Series

India vs Afghanistan T20I Series 2024

Cricket fans around the world have their eyes set on the upcoming T20I series between India and Afghanistan. After a successful tour of South Africa, the Indian team is gearing up to face the spirited challenge of the Afghan lions. With a star-studded lineup and a blend of experience and raw power, India is ready to take on Afghanistan's talented squad.

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Squad Announcement and Surprises

The much-awaited squad announcement for the India vs Afghanistan T20I series is expected to bring both surprises and familiar faces. According to reports, Rohit Sharma is likely to return as the captain for the series, leading the charge with his exceptional batting skills. Joining him at the top of the order might be KL Rahul, who has been a consistent performer in recent times. The experienced duo of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma is expected to make a comeback in the shortest format of the game.


Opening Combination: Experience and Youthful Exuberance

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The opening combination for India is set to have a blend of experience and youthful exuberance. Alongside the seasoned campaigners like Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, young guns like Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill are likely to add a touch of dynamism and aggression. This combination promises to set the stage on fire with their explosive batting and quick running between the wickets.


Bowling Department: A Blend of Experience and Raw Power

The Indian think tank has a crucial decision to make when it comes to the bowling department. The selection of the lead spinner is one of the key factors to consider. While Kuldeep Yadav has been the first-choice spinner, the sensational performances of Ravi Bishnoi in recent T20Is make him a strong contender for the role. The pace attack is expected to feature the likes of Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj, who have been in terrific form.

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Schedule and Venues

The India vs Afghanistan T20I series is scheduled to take place from January 11th to January 17th, 2024. The three-match series will be held in three different venues across India. The first match is set to be played in Mohali, followed by the second match in Indore, and the final match in Bengaluru. These venues have witnessed some thrilling encounters in the past, and fans can expect nothing less this time around.

  Match   Date & Time (IST)   Venue
  1st T20I   11th Jan, 07:00 PM   Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra
  Stadium, Mohali
  2nd T20I   14th Jan, 07:00 PM   Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore
  3rd T20I   17th Jan, 07:00 PM   M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
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Key Players to Watch Out For

Both teams boast some exceptional talent, making it crucial to keep an eye on the key players who can turn the game in their team's favor. For Afghanistan, the bowlers Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmed will be the ones to watch out for. Their spin wizardry and ability to take wickets at crucial moments can pose a challenge for the Indian batsmen. Rhamanullah Gurbaz, with his explosive batting, and Azmatullah Omarzai, one of the best all-rounders in the world, will also play vital roles in Afghanistan's campaign.

On the other hand, India's success will heavily rely on the performances of their star batsmen. Rohit Sharma, known for his ability to score big runs, will lead the charge at the top of the order. Virat Kohli, who recently achieved the milestone of becoming the highest run-getter in T20Is, will aim to continue his phenomenal form. Additionally, the bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will play crucial roles in stifling the Afghan batting lineup.

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Last Bilateral T20I Series Before T20 World Cup

The India vs Afghanistan T20I series holds immense significance as it will be India's last bilateral T20I series before the T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled for June. The series will serve as a crucial preparation for the Indian team, allowing them to fine-tune their strategies and combinations ahead of the global tournament. It also provides an opportunity for players to stake their claim for a spot in the T20 World Cup squad.


Captaincy Conundrum: Rohit Sharma or Ruturaj Gaikwad?

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With both Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav ruled out due to injuries, the question of captaincy arises. If Rohit Sharma returns to the squad, he is most likely to take over the reins of captaincy. However, if Rohit Sharma is unavailable, the talented youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad could be entrusted with the responsibility. Gaikwad has shown great promise in domestic cricket and could prove to be a capable leader for the Indian team.


Head to Head Records and Maiden Win Possibility

India and Afghanistan have faced each other five times in T20Is, with the Men in Blue emerging victorious on four occasions, while one match ended in a tie. As the teams gear up for this series, it remains to be seen if Afghanistan can earn their maiden win against India. With their recent performances and talented lineup, the Afghan team will be eager to make a mark and create history.

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Preparation for T20 World Cup: Not Just This Series

While the India vs Afghanistan series is crucial for the preparation of the T20 World Cup, the selectors will not solely depend on this series to finalize the squad. The performances in the upcoming IPL 2024 will also play a significant role in determining the players' selection for the global tournament. The IPL provides a platform for players to showcase their skills and stake their claim for a spot in the national team.


Rohit Sharma's Cryptic Reply on T20I Future

Amidst the speculations of Rohit Sharma returning as the captain of the T20I side, the Indian skipper himself gave a cryptic five-word reply during a press conference. When asked about his focus on the series against Afghanistan or the upcoming Test series against England, Rohit Sharma cheekily replied, "Dimaag laga rahe ho aap" (You are using your brain). His response added to the intrigue and anticipation surrounding his availability for the T20I series.


Sanju Samson's Chance for a Comeback

Sanju Samson, who has been out of the T20I side for a while, might have a chance to make a comeback in the series against Afghanistan. Samson showcased his batting prowess during the ODI series against South Africa, scoring a hundred. His ability to clear the boundaries and play innovative shots makes him a valuable asset in the T20 format.


India's Performance in the Last T20I Series

India's previous three-match T20I series was against South Africa in the Rainbow Nation. Suryakumar Yadav captained the side, and India managed to draw the series 1-1. Unfortunately, the first T20I was washed out due to rain. The Indian team will look to build on their previous performances and carry the momentum into the series against Afghanistan.


Rest for Bumrah and Siraj: Managing Workload

Considering the workload of the pace duo Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, there is a possibility that they might be given some rest after their matches in South Africa. Managing the workload of key players is crucial to ensure their fitness and effectiveness in the long run. This strategic decision will provide an opportunity for other pacers to prove their mettle and stake their claim for a spot in the team.


Selection for T20 World Cup: Form and Fitness in IPL

The selection of players for the T20 World Cup 2024 will not be solely based on the India vs Afghanistan series. According to reports, the selectors will consider the first month of the IPL 2024 to assess the form and fitness of potential players. This approach ensures that the players are given ample opportunities to showcase their skills and stake their claim for a spot in the national squad.


Conclusion

The India vs Afghanistan T20I series promises to be an exciting and closely contested battle between two talented teams. With the return of key players and the emergence of young talents, the series is set to witness some high-quality cricket. The performances in this series will not only shape the future of the Indian team but also provide a glimpse of what to expect in the upcoming T20 World Cup. Cricket enthusiasts around the world eagerly await the clash between India and Afghanistan, hoping for an exhilarating display of cricketing skills.

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