World Cup 2019: Ideal playing XI for India against Afghanistan
India will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the World Cup 2019 when they take on Afghanistan on 22nd June. Team India will be riding high on confidence after a resounding victory against their arch-rivals Pakistan. India are currently at fourth position in the points table which is headed by the hosts England at this point in time.
During the second innings of the match against Pakistan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar suffered a hamstring injury and was subsequently ruled out from further participation in that match. He became the second Indian player to be sidelined due to injury after Shikhar Dhawan.
Now India has to play its upcoming games without both their frontline opening bowler and batsman.
KL Rahul replaced Dhawan as the opener in the previous match and went on to play a solid knock. The team management won't be worried much about the opening combination in the absence of Dhawan.
In the batting department, Rohit Sharma has been in glorious touch ever since the beginning of the tournament as he has notched up two centuries and one fifty in the three matches India have played so far. Moreover, skipper Virat Kohli has been playing his role to perfection by anchoring the innings in middle and slog overs.
MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya have been providing finishing touches to the innings. On the bowling front, Kuldeep Yadav regained some form in the last match against Pakistan by picking up two crucial wickets of set batsmen.
However, the hamstring injury to Bhuvneshwar has ruled him out of the next few matches, which will see a shuffle in the team's bowling composition. Mohammad Shami will in all likelihood take Bhuvi's spot in the playing XI for the upcoming clash against Afghanistan.
The match is going to be held in The Rose Bowl, Southampton. India played against South Africa at the same venue earlier in the tournament.
India might be tempted to slot in Ravindra Jadeja into the XI to get better balance in the absence of Bhuvneshwar. But given that they are going to play against an out of form side, the change might not be required.
Instead, the team can give some playing time to the likes of Kedar Jadhav who hasn't got a proper chance to bat so far in the tournament. The Indian top order is in great form, so they should rely on them to score the bulk of runs rather than tinkering with the lower middle order for the upcoming clash.
Dropping either Jadhav or Vijay Shankar to slot in Jadeja does not make much sense. They both should be given some more time in the middle as India will be facing stern tests against the likes of England in the near future.
India's Ideal XI
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
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