T20 World Cup 2024: Super 8 (India vs Afghanistan) – 3 Player Battles To Watch Out For
By CricShots - Jun 20, 2024 12:17 pm
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India’s quest for the T20 World Cup trophy takes a crucial turn as they face Afghanistan in the Super 8 stage opener on June 20th in Barbados. Both teams finished top of their groups, but the challenge intensifies as India adjusts to more batting-friendly Caribbean pitches after battling tough conditions in New York.

rashid khan
Rashid Khan

While the change in scenery is welcome for the Indian batsmen, they’ll face a stern test against Afghanistan’s potent bowling attack, featuring quality spinners and a red-hot pacer. Afghanistan, having played in the West Indies recently, will be confident and determined to exploit any Indian vulnerabilities.

ALSO READ: Super 8 (India vs Afghanistan) – Probable XI and Fantasy XI

Here are three key match-ups that could swing the momentum in this high-stakes encounter:

#1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz vs Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah

Afghanistan’s explosive opener, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, has been a force to be reckoned with. Currently the tournament’s leading run-scorer with 167 runs at a blistering strike rate, Gurbaz is known for his aggressive starts. India will likely unleash their pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah early on to counter Gurbaz’s threat. Bumrah’s current form is exceptional, and if the pitch offers early swing, he could potentially dismantle Afghanistan’s batting order.

#2 Virat Kohli vs Fazalhaq Farooqi

Fazalhaq Farooqi
Fazalhaq Farooqi

Virat Kohli’s struggles as an opener in the World Cup have sparked debate. Despite a successful IPL season as an opener, he’s yet to find his rhythm, managing just 5 runs in 3 innings. Afghanistan’s leading wicket-taker, Fazalhaq Farooqi, boasts impressive swing and variation, potentially causing problems for Kohli early on.

However, history suggests a favourable outcome for Kohli. In T20s, he has scored 37 runs off 16 balls bowled by Farooqi. This could be the match where Kohli silences his critics and delivers a vintage performance.

#3 Rishabh Pant vs Rashid Khan

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

India’s surprise move to promote Rishabh Pant to number 3 has paid off handsomely. Pant’s fearless batting, with a score of 96 on challenging New York pitches, has instilled confidence and makes him a major threat to Afghanistan’s bowling attack. His match-up against Afghanistan’s ace spinner, Rashid Khan, will be fascinating. Pant has a decent record against Khan, scoring 113 runs off 100 balls with only 2 dismissals in T20 cricket. While the odds slightly favor Khan, the battle will hinge on who seizes the initiative and dictates terms.