World Cup 2019: 3 takeaways for India from their win against Afghanistan
The 28th match of the 2019 World Cup turned out to be probably the best of the tournament so far. Contrary to pre-match expectations, India and Afghanistan played a nail-biting thriller with the Men in Blue winning by 11 runs.
Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat but to everyone's surprise, India could only a post score of 224/8 in their 50 overs as the Aghani spinners stifled the middle order. In response, Gulbadin Naib's men put in a gutsy effort but ultimately fell 11 runs short. The brilliance of Jasprit Bumrah and a hat-trick by Mohammed Shami ensured a victory for India despite Mohammed Nabi giving a strong fight till the end.
While India got the two points at the end of the day, Afghanistan can be extremely proud of the fight they put in. Despite having a poor run in the tournament so far, one has to comment the heart and fighting spirit they showed to give the tournament favourites a massive scare.
While Virat Kohli will take pride in the fact that India is still unbeaten, this game is a wakeup call and given India a lot to ponder about. Here are a few things India learned from the encounter at Southampton.
#3 Kohli's team is not perfect but have resilience
India dominated the first three games of their campaign from start to finish and it was starting to look like that the Men in Blue were invincible. Yesterday's encounter removed any such feeling as a lot of faults in the team started to appear. As India struggled to defeat Afghanistan, every team in the competition would have taken notice and told themselves that beating India is more than possible.
The manner of the victory should remove any complacency in the Indian camp. While they remain favourites to lift the trophy, this match is a clear signal to the team that they cannot take anything for granted in their pursuit of ultimate glory. As Kohli will know better anyone, the team cannot any slip-ups at all.
On the other hand, it was not a bad time for India to get a wake-up call. With a place in the semi-final almost guaranteed, a tough encounter at this stage of the tournament is a blessing in disguise. Despite not being anywhere close to their best, the fact that India could grind out a win is something that is extremely pleasing especially seeing pre-tournament favourites England failing to do so.
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