After a morale-boosting, but unconvincing win over Australia powered by two brilliant individual performances from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, India will take to the field for their second match of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023 on Wednesday.
The match will be played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi and will begin at 2pm. Star batter Shubman Gill is again set to miss out as he did not travel with the squad after contracting Dengue. India’s opponents on the day, Afghanistan saw their campaign begin with a loss to Bangladesh. Beating two-time champions India in their capital city would be a statement for Afghanistan loud enough to ring in the corridors for some time.
Head To Head:
India has the upper hand over their opponents with two wins and a tie in just the three times they have met in the One Day International (ODI) format. Only once in the World Cup, the two teams have faced each other, in the 2019 edition in which India won as Afghanistan fell 11 runs short of chasing down a target of 225.
Predicted Starting XI:
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill/Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer/Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi.
Delhi is set to witness plenty of sunshine with less humidity. AccuWeather reported that there is zero probability of rain and thunderstorm in Delhi today. The temperatures are expected to remain between 36 degrees to 23 degress with strong winds of around nine kilometer per hour in the west-north-west direction in the day. The probability of cloud cover is zero per cent, while wind speeds can range between 35 kilometer per hour in the daytime and 15 kilometer per hour in the night.
The pitch at the Arun Jaitley Stadium has historically been a slower one, offering spinners the opportunity to shine. However, the recent South Africa vs Sri Lanka match highlighted that the pitch could end up supporting batters with short boundaries ensuring high-scoring matches.
Google’s win probability has put an 89 per cent chance of India winning the encounter, while Afghanistan take the remaining 11 per cent. It should be a straightforward win for India, while Afghanistan will be on the prowl to spoil the party. It will be a fascinating encounter nonetheless.