Afghanistan vs India T20 World Cup Match Preview:
India have to launch their ICC World T20 campaign against minnows Afghanistan tomorrow at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, hoping to get into the groove for the tougher battles ahead. A win will ensure a Super Eights berth for champions of the 2007 edition even before they take on England in their second and final group league match on September 23. In their only meeting till date, India had comfortably beaten Afghanistan by seven wickets during the last edition of World T20 in the West Indies.
Afghanistan came through the qualifiers to reach these finals and they beat both Barbados and Trinidad in a warm up tournament in the Caribbean last month. Their preparations in Sri Lanka saw them hammer Sri Lanka “A” by 51 runs before they lost to West Indies by eight wickets on Monday. In the 2010 T20 World Cup in the West Indies, Afghanistan also came up against India and they lost by seven wickets before subsequently going down to the Proteas by 59 runs and they headed home at the earliest opportunity. This is the team whose players had earned cricket skills by playing with sticks and plastic bags and now they are face to face with the world champions in the opening match of T20 World Cup 2012. Majority of the players are picked up from refugee camps in Pakistan. Their inspirations has often been the great bowlers and batsmen of Pakistan cricket. This war-torn, terror-stricken country achieves some solace in watching their team playing on the ground. This team cannot lay huge claims in the tournament, but their rapid progress and their emergence in the arena of international cricket is filled with high hopes in the future. Optimism is their source of confidence in this tournament.
India are marginal favourites to be crowned World Twenty20 this year and they are fully expected to start with a win against Afghanistan in their opening Group A match at the RPS Colombo on Wednesday. India’s T20 form in 2012 shows two wins from five outings and they lost their most recent match to New Zealand, going down by one run in Chennai last week. They have won both of the T20′s they have played on Sri Lankan soil including a 39 run win against the host nation in Pallekele last month. It’s hard to know how much to read into the warm up matches which have been staged in the last few days as they are unofficial contests but for the record, India beat Sri Lanka by 26 runs last Saturday but were soundly beaten by five wickets by Pakistan on Monday. Both of those matches were staged here at the RPS Colombo so India have had the benefit of a good look at the likely conditions.
Squad for ICC World Twenty20 3rd Match:
Nawroz Mangal*, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbodin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Izatullah Dawlatzai, Javed Ahmadi, Karim Sadiq, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad†, Najibullah Zadran, M Nasim Baras, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah, Shapoor Zadran
MS Dhoni*†, G Gambhir, R Ashwin, L Balaji, PP Chawla, AB Dinda, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, V Kohli, IK Pathan,SK Raina, V Sehwag, RG Sharma, MK Tiwary, Yuvraj Singh
For more cricinfo: ICC World T20 Sri Lanka 2012