India vs Afghanistan 2024: India’s strongest predicted playing XI against Afghanistan

Jan 14, 2024

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India vs Afghanistan 2024: India’s strongest predicted playing XI against Afghanistan (Photo Source: Twitter)

In an impressive display of skill, the Indian T20I team secured consecutive series victories against Australia and South Africa, showcasing their potential despite being a relatively young and inexperienced squad. With Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli back in action, the team gears up to face a spirited Afghanistan side. Afghanistan, fresh off a remarkable World Cup performance, sealed a series win (2-1) against the UAE, proving their mettle in the shortest format.

Both India and Afghanistan are eyeing the T20 World Cup, just six months away, aiming to finalize their line-ups and strategies. However, India faces setbacks with key players Surya Kumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, and Ruturaj Gaikwad sidelined due to injuries. Afghanistan poses a serious challenge, known for their specialisation in T20 cricket, making their clash against India an intriguing spectacle.

Click here: IND vs AFG Live Score, 2nd T20I

Here’s India’s Predicted XI against Afghanistan:

Openers – Rohit Sharma (C), Yashasvi Jaiswal

Rohit Sharma (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma hoped for a fairytale comeback when he returned to the T20I scene after a gap of 14 months. The 36-year-old however failed to make his mark with the bat as an unfortunate run-out ended his stay at the crease. The skipper would hope for a better time when he returns to the second T20I at Indore. 

Joining Sharma at the top might be Yashasvi Jaiswal, known for his successful partnership with the skipper in Test cricket. Jaiswal has emerged as a standout performer for India in T20Is, boasting an impressive tally of 430 runs from 14 innings. Notably, his century against Nepal during the Asian Games 2023 highlights his formidable batting, adding depth to India’s batting line-up in the series against Afghanistan.

Middle Order: Virat Kohli, Sanju Samson (Wk), Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh

Virat-Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Returning to the T20I fold alongside skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli‘s comeback signals a clear focus on the upcoming mega T20I event in the West Indies and USA. Having been absent from this format outside of the IPL, Kohli’s return underscores his commitment to T20 internationals, solidifying his place in the Indian Cricket Team’s plans.

While Sanju Samson wasn’t initially on India’s T20I radar, his recent ODI heroics—a scintillating hundred against South Africa in Gqeberha—have brought him back into contention. This landmark century, his first in international cricket, is seen as a potential turning point in Samson’s career trajectory. Despite an unsuccessful stint as a finisher in the West Indies last year, his potential contribution remains promising, despite his modest average of 19.68 in 24 T20Is at a strike rate of 133.57.

India’s young brigade has shone brightly in the T20I circuit over the past year. Among the standout finds is Tilak Varma, a left-handed batter who has made his mark in the limited-overs format. With 15 T20I appearances and 310 runs under his belt, Varma’s presence promises solidity to India’s middle-order, making him a likely inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad.

Another rising star is Rinku Singh, who is emerging as one of the premier finishers in T20I cricket globally. Since his debut last year, Singh has been a standout performer for India, boasting a remarkable strike rate of over 180 in his eight T20I innings. His consistent performances have cemented his place as a dependable finisher in the team, amassing 262 runs in his T20I career so far.

All-rounders: Shivam Dube, Axar Patel

Axar Patel (Photo Source: Twitter)

With Hardik Pandya sidelined due to injury, India’s team management is scouting for alternative all-round options. Shivam Dube’s skill as a power hitter showcased during the Asian Games positions him as a potential pinch-hitter in the middle-order against Afghanistan. Dube’s notable performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023 further bolsters his case for the role.

In a bid to address India’s longstanding issue of a weaker number 8 slot, all-rounder Axar Patel emerges as a likely candidate. Patel is anticipated to assume this crucial position, aiming to bolster the lower order and add depth to India’s spin department alongside Kuldeep Yadav. Despite being absent from the Indian playing XI in the recent T20I series against South Africa, Patel is set to carry a significant responsibility in the upcoming matches against Afghanistan.

Bowlers: Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar

Mukesh Kumar. (Photo Source: RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Kuldeep Yadav, after a stellar performance in the recent T20I series against South Africa where he secured a five-wicket haul in two games, arrives brimming with confidence. His impressive form makes him the linchpin of India’s spin bowling attack against Afghanistan in the upcoming three-match T20I series. With 58 wickets from 34 T20I appearances, Yadav is set to be India’s prime weapon.

In the pace department, left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh assumes leadership and is renowned for delivering early breakthroughs. His effectiveness with the new ball in T20Is has been pivotal for India. The conditions at Mohali‘s IS Bindra Stadium, known for swing, are anticipated to favour Singh’s style of bowling on the 11th of January.

Joining Singh is Mukesh Kumar, who showcased his talent in the recent T20Is against South Africa. Kumar’s impactful spells earned him recognition, consolidating his position in the Indian squad since his debut against West Indies in 2023. With 10 wickets from 11 T20Is, Kumar is a consistent figure in India’s pace bowling setup. Both Singh and Kumar are poised to play significant roles in India’s quest for success against Afghanistan.

India’s predicted XI against Afghanistan in the second T20I:

Rohit Sharma (C), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Sanju Samson (Wk), Tilak Varma, Shivam Dube, Rinku Singh, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar 

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