India was looking to continue their winning run in the World Cup after an impressive win against Australia. The men in blue lost their way with the bat early in their innings, but the ever-reliable Kohli and rejuvenated Rahul formed a formidable partnership to guide India home. Afghanistan on the other hand faces a tough test to get their campaign back on track after losing to Bangladesh in the first game. Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi was the venue for this exciting game between the two Asian nations.
Indian pace bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur returns to the squad in place of veteran Ravichandran Ashwin. Afghanistan made no changes to the eleven that lost to Bangladesh in the first game.
- Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK) 2. Ibrahim Zadran 3. Rahmat Shah 4. Hashmatullah Shahidi (Cap.) 5. Azmatullah Omarzai 6. Mohammad Nabi 7. Najibullah Zadran 8. Rashid Khan 9. Rashid Khan 10. Naveen-Ul-Haq 11. Fazalhaq Farooqi
- Rohit Sharma (Cap.) 2. Ishan Kishan 3. Virat Kohli 4. Shreyas Iyer 5. KL Rahul (WK) 6. Hardik Pandya 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Shardul Thakur 9. Kuldeep Yadav 10. Jasprit Bumrah 11. Mohammed Siraj
Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi won the toss and decided to bat first.
|Venue||The 9th game of the 2023 World Cup was played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.|
|Date||The game started from 02:00 pm IST on Wednesday, October 11|
Captaincy & Tactics
The Afghan openers were cautious early on as the Indian seamers were swinging the ball. But once they got accustomed to the pace of the wicket, they started playing shots. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma showed his game-reading skill by deploying Kuldeep Yadav at a crucial stage of the Afghan innings.
The Afghan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi tried to attack the Indian opening pair with the pacers at his disposal. But Rashid Khan’s reluctance to bowl in the powerplay is hurting the Afghan attack substantially. He came into the attack on the 15th over of the game with the game well beyond Afghanistan’s reach.
Rohit Gurunath Sharma has the highest number of centuries at the World Cup after his 7th century against Afghanistan. On his way to a scintillating innings of 131, Rohit Sharma became the batsman with the highest number of sixes by surpassing the previous record held by Chris Gayle (553). He is also the joint quickest batsman to reach 1000 runs at the World Cup with David Warner (both 19 innings).
Rohit Sharma showed his prowess on the leg side by flicking the ball towards square leg and midwicket region, this yielded 31 runs for him. Despite hitting 21 boundaries, Rohit maintained an impressive 88% control throughout his innings. Virat Kohli scored the 69th half-century of his career with another outstanding display with the bat. The vintage Kohli came out and drove the ball back past the bowler.
Earlier in the day, Azmatullah Omarzai displayed why he is considered to be one of the best Afghan talents in the world. He flexed his muscles to smash the ball four times over the boundary. Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi was the top scorer for the Afghans and played well to score 80 runs. He steered the ball to the off-side to score 12 runs.
Jasprit Bumrah is famous for his bowling dexterity during the final overs of the innings. But the pacer from Gujarat is becoming more and more lethal with the new ball in hand.
He produces swings especially back to the right-handers. He picked up a four-wicket haul to continue his impressive journey back to international cricket. Bumrah has the 16th-best strike rate (30.7) among all the bowlers who took 100 wickets in international cricket.
Kuldeep Yadav picked up the most prized wicket of Hashmatullah Shahidi, but the most interesting idea about the chinaman bowler is that he is bowling at a faster pace than before. He is clocking at 85-90 km/h, the good-length deliveries are harder to put away at this pace.
Hardik Pandya bowled all kinds of variations: stock balls, knuckle balls, and slower deliveries. He ended the day with 2 wickets. Shardul Thakur enjoyed a fine welcome back to the team by picking up Rahmat Shah’s wicket with an inswinger.
Rashid Khan has shown effectiveness whenever he has bowled on Indian soil. He has picked up 25 wickets from 15 games, averaging 23.60. But his unwillingness to ball in the powerplay overs has left little choice for his captain.
The world-class leg spinner eventually claimed both wickets in the Indian innings, but the damage was already done by that stage. All the other bowlers were expensive, with new ball partners Farooqi and Mujeeb both going for more than 8 runs per over. Naveen-Ul-Haq was the most economical bowler in the innings, he conceded 31 from 5 overs.
India has been the most impressive fielding side of the tournament with an impeccable collective performance. Rahmunullah Gurbaz was caught brilliantly by Shardul Thakur on the square leg boundary. Thakur threw the ball in the air as he went outside the boundary line and came back in time to catch the ball.
Australia’s Marsh and Carey made a mess of a Virat Kohli chance against India. Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya faced a similar situation, but they were all aware of each other’s presence. Hardik pulled out and Kuldeep dived, juggled, and parried to eventually complete a good catch to dismiss Rashid Khan.
Rohit Sharma’s record-breaking ton made the run chase a cakewalk for the Indians. Virat Kohli scored fifties in successive games to ensure India reached the destination unscathed. Earlier in the day, Afghan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 80 runs to give his side a fighting total. Jasprit Bumrah is enjoying life after getting back in the international circuit with a 4 wicket haul.
Afghanistan were looking at a score close to 300 after 39 overs. Rohit Sharma chose to put Kuldeep Yadav in the attack. The wrist-spinner bowled at a quick pace to make the batsmen stuck at their crease. Both Shahidi and Zadran found it difficult to rotate the strike on those good-length deliveries. Kuldeep bowled the 39th, 41st, and 43rd over of the innings, the three-over spell yielded only 5 runs with 13 dot balls. He also trapped Hashmatullah Shahidi in front to help India get a stronger grip on the game.
Team India cruised to victory with 90 balls to spare and 8 wickets.
Player of the Match
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma scored a record-breaking ton and was adjudged to be the man of the match in this game.
|Afghanistan Total: 272/8 (50 overs)||India Total: 273/2 (35 overs)|
|Hashmatullah Shahidi 80 (88)||Rohit Sharma 131 (84)|
|Azmatullah Omarzai 62 (69)||Virat Kohli 55 (56)|
|Jasprit Bumrah 4/39||Rashid Khan 2/57|
|Hardik Pandya 2/43||Naveen-Ul-Haq 0/31|
It was a win set up early by the Indian bowlers. Afghanistan scored a decent total on a good surface to give themselves an outside chance for a major upset. But the explosive Rohit Sharma smashed records and Afghan bowling spin to score another hundred. India climbs to the second spot of the table. Afghanistan is feeling the heat after two heavy defeats in the first two games. Now we wait for the biggest rivalry in cricket to unfold, India faces their archenemy Pakistan on Sunday in the most anticipated match of the World Cup.