23 Jun 2019
India beat Afghanistan: Here are the key takeaways
Here are the key takeaways.
How did the match pan out?
India won the toss and elected to bat first on a track which assisted spin. And, they were off to a shaky start.
In reply, India bowled tight right from the start, to script the win.
Rohit Sharma's over-cautious approach costs him
Rohit Sharma couldn't repeat the heroics against Afghans as he fell after scoring only a single run.
While he was expected to fire, we feel that he was being over-cautious, as he scored a run off ten deliveries.
Moreover, his dismissal also exposed his likely weakness against turning ball, as teams are likely to start off with spin against him.
Kohli proves again he is the best right now
Although Kohli would have liked to stick longer on the crease and propel India to a big total, he still was the top scorer for the side, contributing crucial 67 runs.
While the pitch was a hard one to bat on, he ignored it and played his natural game, making things look so easy.
Undoubtedly, he is the best ODI batsman right now.
Vijay Shankar struggling at number four
While India had seemingly solved the number four conundrum with KL Rahul, opener Shikhar Dhawan's injury has forced Vijay Shankar to take the spot.
However, he couldn't create an impact today.
The management would definitely give him a couple of more games before trying out Dinesh Karthik.
If India win their next match, they might be tempted to tinker around with XI.
Were India too defensive against Afghan spin?
India did manage to play out the entire quota. However, they did struggle to score, notably against the spinners.
Also, it felt at a point that they were being too defensive against the spin.
While they scored 105 against the pacers off 96 deliveries, they could only manage 119 against the spinners.
A little more aggressive approach could have helped them to post 250.
Smart bowling from Hardik Pandya
While Hardik Pandya was the most expensive bowler for India, he did bowl smartly.
Despite giving away 51 runs, he managed to take a couple of important wickets of skipper Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah Zadran.
Moreover, he displayed his intelligence by bowling short to the Afghan batsmen, who clearly were not comfortable facing those deliveries.