India vs Afghanistan: Preview and Prediction

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India will start the Wednesday game as favorites

The Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi is all set to play host to the Indian cricket team on Wednesday as they will go up against the Afghanistan cricket team

The two teams have delivered completely contrasting performances in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 so far and thus they are likely to come with different zeal and energy in the Wednesday match.

India is proudly sitting in fifth place in the points table after defeating Australia in a thrilling contest in their opening match by six wickets. It was an all-round performance by the hosts as they excelled in all three facets of the game, be it batting, bowling, or fielding. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja look in good form with the ball while Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are expected to lead the batting unit. 

Playing on Wednesday, the hosts are unlikely to bring any change to their playing XI as Shubman Gill is yet to recover from his dengue fever and has thus been ruled out of the game. 

Speaking of the Afghanistan side, they lack a good batting order. The team has quality spinners, which is a great plus considering the spin-friendly playing conditions in India. However, they don’t have good batters who can anchor the innings or shoulder the responsibility of scoring runs. 

Afghanistan lost to Bangladesh in their opening match by six wickets and is occupying the seventh place in the standings. They are also expected to play the same team on Wednesday. 

What has happened so far?

It was a nail-biting victory for India as they defeated Australia by six wickets in their first World Cup match. The Kangaroos collapsed at 199 runs following the assaults by Bumrah and Jadeja. However, the Indian team also got off to a poor start in the second innings. 

The hosts had nothing to worry about as Kohli and Rahul smacked 85 and 97 runs respectively to take the team home. 

Speaking of Afghanistan, they were thrashed by Bangladesh by six wickets. It was a disastrous batting performance by the side as they ended up with only 156 runs in the allotted 50 overs. Bangladesh chased the target within 34.4 overs. 

Head to Head Record

India has locked horns with Afghanistan in the One Day format only three times since the inception of the gentlemen’s game. The Men in Blue have an edge in the head-to-head records as they have scored the victory in two matches while one game between the two sides ended in a draw. 

Notably, the two teams last played against each other during the league round of the ODI World Cup 2019 where India hammered Afghanistan by 11 runs. 

Key Players

Virat Kohli (India): The fifth match of World Cup 2023 and India’s first in the tournament again saw the chase master at work. Virat Kohli once again emerged as the wrecker-in-chief for the Men in Blue and helped them score a win by six wickets while chasing 200 runs in the allotted 50 overs.

Virat Kohli was the second-highest run-getter for India against Australia

Coming to bat at a score of 2-1 in 0.4 overs, Kohli departed in the 38th over after smashing 85 runs off 116 runs with the help of six boundaries. 

Notably, Virat carried forward his brilliant form from the Asia Cup 2023, where he ended up as the second-highest run-getter for the Indian cricket team after Shubman Gill. The batter is expected to continue the fireworks on Wednesday as well to take his team to another victory. 

Rashid Khan (Afghanistan): For the Afghanistan cricket team, Rashid Khan will be the player to watch out for during the Wednesday game against the Indian cricket team. The spin wizard failed to work his charm in the first game against Bangladesh as he went wicketless. However, Rashid made sure to keep a check on the flow of runs as he conceded only 48 runs in his nine overs at an economy rate of 5.3. 

Meanwhile, the spinner’s stunning record in International cricket makes him one of the top players for the Afghan team. He has so far featured in a total of 95 One Day Internationals picking up a whopping 172 wickets at an average of under 20 and an economy rate of 4.23. 

Predicted XIs

India:  Rohit Sharma ©, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi ©, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi


India is likely to score their second consecutive win in the 2023 edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on Wednesday. 

The hosts displayed a good brand of cricket in their opening game against Australia as they excelled both with the bat and ball to score a win by six wickets. Moreover, the Men in Blue will have almost all the players available for selection as Shubman Gill is the only one dealing with a health scare at the moment. 

Speaking of Afghanistan, they failed to make an impact in their first match of the ODI World Cup 2023 and ended up losing at the hands of the Bangladesh cricket team by six wickets. 

The loss must have dampened the team’s spirit and they might take some time to bounce back. All being said, India has a better squad and players as compared to the Afghanistan team on paper.