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3 key matchups in the India vs Afghanistan Test

John McDowder
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
2.37K   //    06 Jun 2018, 16:03 IST

With the chatter about the historic India vs Afghanistan Test building up, it is interesting to look at the key matchups that will be crucial in determining the course of the game.

While Afghanistan are flying high on the confidence of their series win against Bangladesh, India would be a bit nervous considering the unavailability of Virat Kohli; especially after seeing the Afghanistani spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman's and Rashid Khan's phenomenal performances in IPL 2018

1) Cheteshwar Pujara vs Amir Hamza and Zahir Khan

Hamza was the leading wicket taker in the latest domestic competition
Hamza was the leading wicket-taker in the latest domestic competition

While Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are already a challenge, it is likely that Afghanistan will pick three spinners considering the fact that their pace blowing isn't as well established. This would mean that either Amir Hamza or Zahir Khan will be likely to feature in the playing eleven come the match day.

So why do these two pose a problem to Cheteshwar Pujara? The answers lie in the numbers While the batting average of 50.51 demonstrates his class in the format, his average against left-arm spin stands out. In the six matches he has faced left-arm spin, Pujara averages a meagre 31.50, being bowled, caught by the keeper, and LBW twice each.

While 6 matches may not be an appropriate set of data to establish a trend, Pujara would like to ensure that he counters this obstacle with caution.

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John McDowder
CONTRIBUTOR
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