Legendary Indian cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar wants Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman to be fit for the crucial T20 World Cup match against New Zealand, having missed out on the last couple of fixtures in the tournament owing to an injury. Mujeeb played his last game for Afghanistan in the match against Scotland where he picked a record-scripting five-wicket haul, which included three wickets in one over.
However, Mujeeb ur Rahman picked up a niggle thereafter he missed the games against Pakistan and India, both of which Afghanistan lost to slip to the fourth spot in the points table with just two wins. Gavaskar feels that the addition of Mujeeb will strengthen the attack against New Zealand, who stand second in the table with three wins in four games. Hailing him as a “key element”, Sunil Gavaskar feels that the three-man spin attack could hurt New Zealand subsequently adding to India’s chances of reaching the knockouts.
During a chat on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar said, “I just want Mujeeb to be fit for that game. That would mean an additional mystery spinner against New Zealand. If he along with Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi can weave their magic then…Yesterday against Afghanistan India got a little toe-in. Now they will have to hold forte. If Afghanistan beat New Zealand, they have smashed the door.”
He further added, “Mujeeb is going to be such a key element for that game because he is very difficult to pick just like Varun Chakravarthy and he has got a little more experience than him. So he and Rashid Khan are going to be the key.”
India made a brilliant comeback with back-to-back dominating wins – by eight wickets against both Afghanistan and Scotland – to keep their semi-final hopes alive after suffering defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand. They presently stand third in the Group 2 table. However, their fate lies in the hands of their neighbors, Afghanistan.
The Indian team will have their eyes on the Sunday game between Afghanistan and New Zealand. If Nabi’s men can pull off the upset against the Blackcaps, India, with a superior net run-rate than the two nations, will have a big opportunity to sneak past them and join Pakistan in the semis, given they beat Namibia in their final group game.