Indian team will face-off Afghanistan in first match of the T20 World Cup 2012. India team has to decide on the team combination, whether they would like to go with 4 or 5 bowling attack. India lost their last warm-up game mainly because of their bowling and the faster they take decission they better it will be for them.
A win in the first game will definitely ensure a Super Eights birth but under-estimating Afghanistan can be risk as well. India won the first edition of T20 World Cup but they never came back well in the format after that.
India have met Afghanistan once in the last year World Cup where they beat Afghanistan by seven wickets. So for India this can be an easy start for the tournament before they face the last year Champions England.
India team still in dilemma of whether to go with five specialist bowlers or opt for the additional batsman, considering that bowling in the death overs has been a worry. But skipper MS Dhoni doesn’t like to play much with the order and likes to give time to his team to perform. In a pre match talks he has indicated that the team will go with the four specialist bowlers and will rely on part-time bowlers for the fifth bowler.
India batting order seems to be solid with Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir leading from the top and then Virat Kohli, who is in super form followed by Yuvraj Singh and skipper MS Dhoni himself. Spinners will definitely play a key role for India. So a lot of pressure will be on Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh who joins the time after being left out for a while.
For Afghanistan, they have played quite well in the warm-up game against Sri Lanka A but lost the game against West Indies. Asghar Stanikzai has been consisten in both the match which is a positive thing for Afghanistan. Afghnaistan surely have proved themselves twice to play this tournament. They have potential and the cricket is growing in there country.
There are some key player in Afghanistan to look upon. It has talented batsmen like Mohammad Shahzad, who has scored three one-day international centuries and three half-centuries in Twenty20 internationals and maintains a strike rate of 112. Karim Sadiq has two one-day international hundreds.
Legspin bowler Samiullah Shenwari has 28 one-day international wickets and nine Twenty20 international wickets, good numbers for a bowler who has had little international exposure.
Its an interesting side for Afghanistan and surely they are more matured in the game now. India can’t take them lightly and have to play the best to win the first game. So after talking about both team one would say India are surely favorites for the game but Afghanistan definitely can’t be taken for granted. So just sit back and enjoy the exciting match of the tournament with us.
India (probable XI): 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 MS Dhoni (capt. &wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Irfan Pathan, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 L Balaji/Ashok Dinda.
Afghanistan (probable XI): 1 Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 2 Javed Ahmadi, 3 Karim Sadiq, 4 Nawroz Mangal (capt.), 5 Asghar Stanikzai, 6 Mohammad Nabi, 7 Samiullah Shenwari, 8 Dawlat Zadran, 9 Shapoor Zadran, 10 Gulbodin Naib, 11 Izatullah Dawlatzai