In the last two Asia Cup games, there have been two last-over finishes and two major heartbreaks for team India. A team which performs so well in every match and every series but is hardly effective in any big tournaments that they play. India somehow manages to make one or two slight mistakes or have an off game which costs them the whole series.
This has been the story for quite a while and this is a story which just keeps on repeating and repeating.
If any of the two previous matches had gone the other way than it did, this would not have been a dead rubber. But hey, any match that the Indian team plays cannot be called a dead rubber. Even though they might be competing for third place, this is still a good game of cricket that will be played between two good teams.
What will hurt the fans, even more, is that India has been playing some quality cricket lately. Unbeaten streaks, winning series after the other, new players coming up and performing, so much talent and entering any tournament as favourites – this has been the norm for quite some time now. But unfortunately so has been the norm of succumbing to pressure and losing in knock-out games.
Team India will be looking to find a way and put an end to this anomaly in the World Cup. The good news is that they have the time and they have the quality to do so. But before that, they do have a game to finish. And maybe even win for their fans.
It Should be a cracker of a game. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli & Surya Kumar Yadav are up against Nabi, Mujeeb and Rashid Khan on a turning Dubai pitch. Both teams have some big hitters, some quality seemers and some of the finest spinners. Expect this game to go down to the wire as well.
IND vs AFG Asia Cup Pitch Report
The surface at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium has been a challenging one for the batsmen. It has been hard to score runs. Especially in the first half of the game where the ball sticks onto the wicket a little. There is always some help available for the bowlers. Slower balls are very effective too as they grip and cause all sorts of problems for the batsmen. The toss plays a key role as almost all the games here have been won by teams batting second. With the pitch and lineups in mind, this should be a mouth-watering contest. Both teams have nothing to lose so they will be playing freely which makes this contest even more exciting.
India vs Afghanistan Probable Playing XIs
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk)/ Dinesh Karthik, Deepak Hooda/ Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh
Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Samiullah Shinwari, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi