T20 WC 2012 India vs Afghanistan 3rd T20 Live
The 3rd T20 Match of ICC T20 2012 World Cup will be played between India vs Afghanistan at the stadium of Colombo in Sri Lanka.
The match is scheduled to start at 14:00 GMT.
India will have to quickly decide on their team combination as they launch their ICC World Twenty20 campaign against minnows Afghanistan on Wednesday, 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.
Players to watch:
Virat Kohli: The Delhi youngster has set the stage alight with some eye-catching batting in the last year or so and he has shown that he performs exceptionally when something special is expected off him. He had a World Cup (50 overs) to remember last year and will be doubly eager to add another glittering trophy to his ever growing cabinet.
Hamid Hassan: The Afghan pacer has already made people sit up and take notice with his ability to make the ball swing. He is one of the best bowlers among the associate nations and will be keen to use this tournament to show his worth and win admirers around the world.
The experts say that for Afghanistan, playing would be much more important than winning or best said, avoiding defeat against India. Though cricket wise Afghanistan’s qualification for back-to-back World Twenty20s and the Under-19 World Cup is not a mean achievement for this war-ravaged country.
Afghanistan has beaten Sri Lanka A in the warm up match by 51 runs but lost to West Indies by eight wickets in the second warm up match. It is difficult how much difference it would make for the Indian batting line up but missing strike bowler Hamid Hassan would be a huge disappointment for Afghanistan who has been ruled out due to injury.
On a more serious note, India may be feeling quite relieved playing against the minnows but they too would like to avoid any hiccups early in the tournament. India has lost its two last T20 encounters and its balling may be put some hard-hitting like done by Kamran Akmal in the second warm match which it lost to Pakistan by five wickets. Though India won the first warm match against Sri Lanka by 26 runs.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not someone who is known to tinker with the playing XI and believes in giving his preferred players a long rope. In fact, he has indicated that he would go in with four specialist bowlers and rely on his part-timers to fill in the fifth bowler’s quota.
But if the part-timers do not perform upto expectation, he is willing to go in with five specialist bowlers. The batting order looks more or less settled with seasoned opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, solid middle-order consisting of Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni himself, it will be interesting to see what kind of bowling combination Dhoni-Fletcher pair use.
While pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan are two automatic selections, there is a strong case for seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji who has had some good performances in this format in the Indian Premier League. Balaji has a lot of variety and is an effective bowler at the death overs, though he went for runs in the warm-up game against Pakistan.
Of late, the nature of the 22-yard strip at the R Premadasa Stadium has undergone a change and the faster bowlers have been getting a lot of help. Therefore, if India go onto play three seamers, it will again be a toss-up between in-form Ravichandran Ashwin and comeback man Harbhajan Singh.
Bot played in the two practice games. While together they gave away only 37 runs in their eight overs with the senior off-spinner taking the wicket of Kumar Sangakkara in the first warm-up game, in the match against Pakistan, Harbhajan turned out to be expensive, giving away 40 runs from four overs. Ashwin, however, continued his fine form with figures of four for 23.
As Ashwin has done well in recent times, the lanky Tamil Nadu lad is a front-runner in case India play four bowlers. The fifth bowler if need be can be anyone amongst Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma.
As far as batting is concerned both Sehwag and Gambhir didn’t have a good time against New Zealand and an unfancied Afghanistan attack is just the stuff they need to find some form going their way.
Gambhir, who retired hurt during the warm-up match against Sri Lanka after being hit by a Lasith Malinga delivery, scored just 10 against Pakistan yesterday but the opener is now fit and would be keen to regain his form.
Sehwag, who had missed the last two World T20 editions due to injury, will look to make amends in a format where he hasn’t performed up to expectations during international matches.
All eyes will be on India’s ‘man of the moment’, Kohli who has been in stupendous form in all three formats. Kohli, who has deservingly won the ICC’s ‘ODI Cricketer of the Year’ award, will like to showcase his wide range of strokes in the shortest format. India’s performance will also depend on how well Kohli performs at the crucial no 3 position as he has, of late, been the architect of most of the team’s ODI victories.
He will certainly like to replicate that show in the shortest format especially after his dismissal after a good knock was one of the primary reason for India’s one-run loss against New Zealand in the T20 International in Chennai.
Yuvraj, who gave an impressive account during his comeback match after surviving a rare germ-cell cancer, will be keen on winning a few matches on his own just like he made the difference in the inaugural edition of the tournament, especially against England and Australia.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt.), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashok Dinda, L Balaji, Piyush Chawla.
Afghanistan: Nawroz Mangal (Capt.), Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbodin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Izatullah Dawlatzai, Javed Ahmadi, Karim Sadiq, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nasim Baras, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah, Shapoor Zadran.