India wins against Afghanistan, Kohli speaks again
India beat Afghanistan by 66 runs in their Super 12 match of T20 World Cup on Wednesday. This kept their slim chance of reaching the semi-finals alive. Kohli spoke again. Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul hit half-centuries to help India post 210 for 2 after being invited to bat. They then restricted Afghanistan to 144 for 7 in their 20 overs. Mohammed Shami took three wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin got two. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja grabbed one wicket each.
For Afghanistan, Karim Janat top-scored with 42 not out while Mohammad Nabi contributed 35. Earlier, Rohit (74) and Rahul (69) together stitched 140 runs from 14.4 overs for the opening wicket to set up India’s big total. Hardik Pandya and Rishab Pant remained not out on 35 and 27 respectively. For Afghanistan, Karim Janat and Gulbadin Naib took a wicket each. These were the highlights of the match between India and Afghanistan.
Captain Virat Kohli spoke only for the second time since India’s loss to New Zealand. He admitted that the team finds itself in a dangerous situation. This was ahead of the T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday. The India captain spoke at the post-match presentation ceremony where he said the team was not brave enough. This remark dived experts and fans alike. He, however, remained absent at the post-match press conference and the pre-match presser on the eve of the game. On Wednesday, India readied themselves for a must-win match. Kohli, who once again lost the toss, did not hide the fact that the team has not played to its potential
“Firstly, there’s no denying the fact that the situation is a tricky one. Having said that there’s still a chance. We as a team will look at the chance and try to play positive cricket. We know we haven’t played up to potential whatever the reasons might be – need to brush that aside,” Kohli said at the toss. “Would have bowled first. But it’s not a bad thing against a side like Afghanistan who looks to put up runs on the board,” Kohli added.
India lost to Pakistan in their first match of the ongoing World Cup. Pakistan dished out a 10-wicket hammering to finally snap their 29-year-long losing streak to India at World Cups. India needed to win their second game, against New Zealand, but they endured disappointment there as well. This happened because the Black Caps bowled splendidly to first restrict the Men in Blue to 110/7. They then gunned down the target with more than five overs to spare. This helped boost their net run rate.
In order for India to have a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals, they need to win in their remaining matches. The first match was against Afghanistan. They already won that. The remaining matches are against Scotland and Namibia. Along with that, they must hope that either Namibia or Afghanistan is able to beat New Zealand. Theoretically speaking, India is still alive, but their chances hang by a thread.