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Cricket 2nd T20: India take on Afghanistan at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore.

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Cricket 2nd T20: India will face Afghanistan in the second T20I match today at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore. The match will start at 7 pm. With leading batsman Virat Kholi back in the team, India is eyeing a series win.

After winning the first T20I, India captain Rohit Sharma spoke about doing things they are “slightly uncomfortable” with in order to prepare for the World Cup. So Washington Sundar bowled the 19th over of the innings, having also bowled in the PowerPlay and in the middle overs. And when Ravi Bishnoi was having an off day, Shivam Dube stepped in. The pace bowling allrounder might have finished his quota of overs only once in T20Is but it didn’t seem like it when he bowled his two thrifty overs for only nine runs.

While pushing their limits on the field, what also clicked for India was their very young and inexperienced middle order in the absence of Virat Kohli. Tilak Varma, Dube, Jitesh Sharma and Rinku Singh stepped in to ensure that the match didn’t go down the wire. They could be tested again on another good batting surface in Indore and how they take to the challenge could go a long way in deciding India’s XI at the World Cup. After all, India only have two T20Is to perfect their combination.

For Afghanistan, it was a case of being almost there. A fifty-run opening stand was a box ticked but the pace of the partnership allowed India to dictate proceedings. Batting with a bit more intent is something the visitors would like to execute come the second match in central India, where the temperatures admittedly would be kinder to the game of cricket.

The fielding was a bit of a hit and miss and the much vaunted spin bowling looked a bit short too in the absence of Rashid Khan. Could pave the way for picking Noor Ahmad, who was impressive in these conditions during the IPL? Anyway, Indore will be here and now for them vis-a-vis the series.

Squads:

Afghanistan Squad: Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Ibrahim Zadran(c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hazratullah Zazai, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Ikram Alikhil, Qais Ahmad, Noor Ahmad, Mohammad Saleem Safi

India Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shivam Dube, Jitesh Sharma(w), Rinku Singh, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, Tilak Varma, Kuldeep Yadav, Avesh Khan

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