They need to ace the Afghanistan spin test if they are to keep themselves alive in the tournament
India are teetering on the brink of this T20 World Cup, depending on other teams to hand them a lifeline, and as dire as that may be, they’ll need to keep telling themselves that it is not over.
Last five matches, most recent first
In the spotlight
Virat Kohli has already announced that he will relinquish the India captaincy in the shortest format. He will not go quietly into the night though. He set in motion India’s last loss, going for a big hit when he probably should have tried to bat out the 20 overs. It’s unlikely that a batter of his quality, and more so his hunger, will make a mistake like that again.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Ishan Kishan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 KL Rahul, 5 Rishabh Pant, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
With Asghar Afghan’s retirement, Afghanistan will be looking to either Hashmatullah Shahidi or Usman Ghani to step up and fill the hole he’s left behind.
Afghanistan (probable): 1 Hazratullah Zazai, 2 Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 3 Rahmanullah Gurbaz, 4 Hashmatullah Shahidi/Usman Ghani, 5 Mohammad Nabi, 6 Najibullah Zadran, 7 Gulbadin Naib, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Karim Janat/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 10 Naveen-ul-Haq, 11 Hamid Hassan
Pitch and conditions
Teams chasing have won six of the eight matches played in Abu Dhabi at this T20 World Cup. The forecast is for clear skies on Wednesday with a temperature in the low 30s degree celsius.
Stats and trivia
- In 2021, fast bowlers (76 matches, 308 wickets, 8 economy rate) have performed better than spinners (76 matches, 128 wickets, 7.6 economy rate) at this venue.
- Rashid Khan dominates KL Rahul in T20 cricket: 18 runs, 30 balls, three dismissals
- Ishan Kishan, on the other hand, has a much better record against the Afghanistan legspinner: 64 runs, 51 balls, no dismissals
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo