Updated January 10th, 2024 at 15:48 IST
Big setback for Afghanistan! AFG's biggest trump card against India ruled out of T20I series
IND vs AFG: He underwent back surgery after the ODI World Cup in November but failed to recover in time for the crucial series against Team India.
Team India have been given a big boost ahead of the T20I series against Afghanistan on January 11 in Mohali. While there is a lot of anticipation in Indian cricket after the return of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the T20I format before the T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA, fans are also vary of the threat provided by the talented Afghanistan team lead by Ibrahim Zadran. However, Afghanistan's trump card against India has been ruled out of the series.
3 things you need to know
- India play Afghanistan in a three-match T20I series
- This is a first-ever limited-overs series between the nations
- Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have made their return to the T20I side
Rashid Khan out of India vs Afghanistan T20I series
It has been confirmed that cricket superstar Rashid Khan has been ruled out of the three-match series against Rohit Sharma-led Team India. Rashid underwent back surgery after the ODI World Cup in November but failed to recover in time for the crucial series against their friendly neighbours. Rashid, however, has been named in the squad and will be with the Afghanistan team while he undergoes rehab.
"He is not totally fit. He is doing his rehab. We will miss him in the series. Without Rashid there are a few players we trust," said Zadran in the pre-match press conference.
"We have many players like Mujeeb (Zadran) who have played a lot of cricket. We have trust in them. We will struggle without Rashid but one should be ready for any kind of situation," he asserted.
After ODI World Cup, people expect from us
The performance of Afghanistan in the ODI World Cup in India was among the highlights of the tournament. The team was very much in the running for a semifinal berth after beating defending champions England and Pakistan in the league stage. Zadran, who opens the innings, has hardly been home since the high of that tournament but knows that the fans' expectations have gone up significantly.
"I only went home for one day but what I heard from teammates, they said all the people were happy. Nowadays, all around the country people expect lots of things from us. It is the only thing in the country that is giving happiness to people of Afghanistan," said Zadran.
"Playing against India on their home soil is difficult but we are here to win, show our skills. We have lots of good players in T20 and we are good in this format, I am sure we will perform well." The games will help Afghanistan fine-tune their preparations for the T20 World Cup and Zadran feels the team must improve in the batting department.
"We have one of the best spinners in the world, we have fast bowlers as well but our aim is to improve batting skills," said the 22-year-old who also believes that dew won't be a factor despite the cold conditions prevailing in North India.
"We have been training here last two-three days, there was no dew," he pointed out.
(with PTI inputs)
Published January 10th, 2024 at 15:06 IST