Asia Cup, 2018: 3 reasons why this is the best chance for Afghanistan to beat India
To beat a top-ranked team has always been the mission for Afghanistan Cricket team since their entry into the top flight. They came close to doing that against Pakistan in the Super Four encounter until Shoaib Malik demolished their dreams. Now that they have crashed out of the Asia Cup and India have reached the finals, the match between Afghanistan and India on 25th September at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium will be a dead rubber. And that gives a pretty good chance for the Afghanistan Team to win the match against the likely second-string Indian Cricket team that will be fielded for the game. Read on to find out why.
#1 Spin Trio of Afghanistan
Since the last year in the shorter format of the game, the spin trio of Afghanistan - Rashid Khan, Mohammed Nabi, and Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman have wreaked havoc on almost every other team that they have faced.
Though the Indian batsmen are excellent players of spin, the spin trio could add pressure on them if they manage to set a decent target. The inconsistent middle-order of the Indian Cricket team could add to the concerns of Ravi Shastri.
#2 Yet to be tested Indian middle-order
In the ongoing Asia Cup, Indian bowlers have been fantastic to restrict the opponents to a mediocre total in every match. This has made the job of the Indian batsman very easy. In most of the matches, the middle order of the team has hardly got any time to spend with the bat courtesy the impressive form of the openers, Rohit Sharma and Shikar Dhawan.
So much so that each of the openers got a century against Pakistan in the previous match giving no opportunity for the middle order to bat. This could make the middle order highly vulnerable against the deadly spin-trio of Afghanistan. The Afghan captain has to utilize this relative inexperience of the Indian middle order if they have to beat India.
#3 Opportunity for the Indian Bench
With the match between Afghanistan and India becoming a dead rubber, the Indian team management would be thinking of providing an opportunity to the patient Indian bench before the final game. It would mean that the likes of K Khaleel Ahmed, Manish Pandey, and Deepak Chahar would be in line to get into the team sheet. This can give the Afghan team the opportunity to put them under pressure and push India to the back seat. If they can do it consistently throughout the game, then they will be in a comfortable position to win the game.
Apart from these factors, the all-around form of Rashid Khan could also be a decisive factor against India.