Afghanistan v India, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 4, 2014

Afghanistan test for India in dead rubber

The Preview by Karthik Krishnaswamy
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Agarkar: India must play Pandey and Pujara

Match facts

March 5, 2014
Start time 14.00 local (0800 GMT)

Big Picture

Thanks to that man Shahid Afridi, yet again, but thanks mostly to their own inadequacies, India are out of the Asia Cup. The fact that they were banking on Bangladesh to pull off upsets in successive matches just to keep them alive showed India probably didn't merit a place in the final anyway.

If Bangladesh had beaten Pakistan, India would have still needed to keep up their end of the equation. They would have had to beat Afghanistan and win with a bonus point. India will still want that bonus point, even though they have nothing tangible left to play for. Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka managed it, and India will want to match those two sides on that count.

At the pre-match press conference, Ambati Rayudu said India had run both Pakistan and Sri Lanka very close, and had been unfortunate to lose both games "by a metre". What's done is done, though, and both those defeats could have been avoided had India played sharper cricket and grabbed their chances. In both matches, they lost wickets at inopportune moments during the middle overs.

They won't want to repeat those mistakes in their last league match. Afghanistan bowl with skill and discipline, and it will be important India's batsmen don't give them easy wickets. The middle order will particularly need to keep this in mind; a bit of patience at the beginning of their innings could be rewarded later on, since Afghanistan's death bowling, which has twice let them down in this tournament, looks a little vulnerable.

It seems unlikely India will make changes to their middle order. Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu haven't completely convinced, but they have earned their right to an extended spell in the side with one important half-century each. Dinesh Karthik, meanwhile, is the only specialist wicketkeeper in India's squad. By this calculation, if India are to leave someone out to bring Cheteshwar Pujara in, it might mean they rest one of their openers.

In both their defeats so far, Afghanistan's batsmen looked at relative ease against the seam bowlers and all at sea against spin. With this in mind, India will likely stick with the three-spinner combination that did so well against Pakistan.

Afghanistan, meanwhile, will want to finish the tournament strongly, to show they are capable of putting pressure on big sides consistently. They will want to improve on their death bowling; Hamid Hassan's possible return in place of Dawlat Zadran could help them in this regard. They will definitely want to bat out 50 overs; they will need to cut out the expansive shots, such as the silly slog that spelled the end of Mohammad Shahzad against Sri Lanka. Most importantly, they will want to continue doing the things they have already done well.

Form guide

Afghanistan LWLWW (completed matches, most recent first)
India LLWLL

Watch out for

Amit Mishra bowled beautifully against Pakistan, prompting his captain, Virat Kohli, to enthuse about his ability to turn the ball on any surface. Afghanistan have been quite susceptible to spin in this tournament, and a good spell from Mishra could well fetch him a big haul.

Mohammad Shahzad has played some of the most memorable strokes of the tournament, including a first-ball flick off Umar Gul and a flat six over cover off Suranga Lakmal. But he's only scored 18 runs in three innings so far, copping a bad decision against Pakistan and getting out to an atrocious stroke against Sri Lanka. If he can rein in his aggression against India, Shahzad could well end the tournament with a decent score.

Team news

India are likely to retain the same XI they picked against Pakistan.

India (likely): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Ajinkya Rahane, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Ambati Rayudu, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Amit Mishra, 11 Mohammed Shami.

Fitness permitting, Hamid Hassan could return to Afghanistan's pace attack in place of Dawlat Zadran. After the Sri Lanka game, coach Kabir Khan hinted they might give Rahmat Shah a go against India. With fellow legspinner Samiullah Shenwari also an important member of the batting lineup, it's possible Rahmat will replace left-arm spinner Hamza Hotak.

Afghanistan (likely): 1 Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 2 Noor Ali Zadran, 3 Asghar Stanikzai, 4 Nawroz Mangal, 5 Mohammad Nabi (capt), 6 Najibullah Zadran, 7 Samiullah Shenwari, 8 Mirwais Ashraf, 9 Hamza Hotak/Rahmat Shah, 10 Dawlat Zadran/Hamid Hassan, 11 Shapoor Zadran.

Stats and trivia

  • Mohammed Shami needs two wickets to reach 50 in ODIs
  • India and Afghanistan haven't met in an ODI, but they've faced each other twice in Twenty20 cricket. India won by 23 runs when the two sides last met during the 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka.*

    Quotes

    "They are a very good bowling side as we have seen in the competition. We need to keep our head down and make sure we get runs."
    Ambati Rayudu on the threat Afghanistan pose

    *1800 GMT, March 4: The stats and trivia had incorrectly stated that India and Afghanistan had played only once in T20s. This has been corrected.

    Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • pcexp on March 5, 2014, 17:28 GMT

      Dont understand these unlimited arguments about the best team .... Just imagine World Champions had to play a match deciding 3rd position in Asia against Afghanistan ..... And most notice able thing India came in with a BEST SIDE ... Fear to lose ?????

    • on March 5, 2014, 12:08 GMT

      @sergio11. ..my friend we accept our defeat against Zimbabwe but didn't lost the test series it was 1-1.We didn't played champions trophy well.We also lost odi series against southafrica but then we came back very strongly we won the odi series against southafrica in southafrica 2-1,we won the odi series against srilanka now we play well in asia cup and will play final vs srilanka.Our team is improving day by day but the way india had played against southafrica and newzealand last series it was disappointed so accept your defeats.I write all these comments because many indian fans are saying that india is far better side than pakistan,pakistan and srilanka are minnows that is totally rubbish knowing the past performances of both the teams.If india will do well in future we will appreciate it but till now pakistan is better side than india.Whatever we do against other teams we always done well against india and we also won last series against india by 2-1.

    • sergio11 on March 5, 2014, 10:46 GMT

      @ Nabeel Ahmad ....after 2002 ZIM has never won a test match against top ranked test side...thanks to pak..they won..and ofcoz pak is not top ranked..lol....where is ur common sense my dear friend..???comparing the ZIM team of before 2002 and now...yeaa find excuses for ur lose against them....but non will be enough to show that pak has the worst batting line up after BAN right now..

    • WeirdBeard420 on March 5, 2014, 10:29 GMT

      A battle between minnows to determine who is the 3rd best cricket team in Asia...

    • on March 5, 2014, 9:59 GMT

      @sergio11...thats a great excuse by you that Zimbabwe had great players in that side.It means India hadn't great players at that time ok forget that see this 01: 28 May 2010 at Bulawayo Ind - 285/5 (50), Zim - 289/4 (48.2) India lost by 6 wickets 02: 3 June 2010 at Harare Ind - 194/9 (50), Zim - 197/3 (38.2) India lost by 7 wickets That was the same team which had played against pakistan last year and also India have also lost 2 Test matches to Zimbabwe. Both in Zimbabwe at Harare in 1998 and 2001.

    • on March 5, 2014, 9:44 GMT

      @mr-icc...you are talking about pakistan bowling.Its one's in a year when pakistan bowling concede runs but for indian bowling its one's in a year not to concede runs so take it easy world knows pakistan is the best bowling attack and also learn to respect the other nations thats why you are being thrashed all over the world because you dont respect others bangladesh has improved a lot in the past couple of years they have played well and that was the bangladesh side which had defeated you in the last asia cup.

    • on March 5, 2014, 9:12 GMT

      Indian fans are making excuses that we have a team of youngsters ms dhoni, yuvraj,gambhir and sehwag are not playing in our side thats why we loses against pakistan and srilanka i wanna remember them one thing because they forget very quickly that they lost against us in their home conditions by 2-1 in january 2013 series when all these players were playing so dont makes excuses accept defeat and also our shoaib malik,younis khan and muhammad irfan were not playing we also have a team of youngsters.

    • cric_gates on March 5, 2014, 8:18 GMT

      @ Sidh78..Totally agreed with u man. Looks like Indian have broken Sl heart by thrashing them everywhere.Both Pak and Sl are lucky to win their matches against IND because of our day dreamer Dinesh Karthik who is thinking of replacing world best finisher Dhoni. Just play him his last match and throw him out of national squad forever. He dont deserve to represent India. Indian Selectors should not be shock by this showing of Karthik as he has previously done it before. Worst current Wicketkeeper. Even Raydu n Bisla Can keep better than him.

    • on March 5, 2014, 8:06 GMT

      @Mr_ICC.... Bangladesh played well because Pakistani bowlers were too relax in their approach... also effectively Pakistan played with 10 plaers (abdul rehman virtually not there).... so 1 front line bowler was less...... this happens once in a blue moon.... but look at indian bowling... consistently failing again and again.... Lol!!!!! @ ur revenge :p

    • on March 5, 2014, 8:02 GMT

      As a Pakistani fan I can appreciate the young talents in both the teams. India is experimenting with new combinations so its understandable the result might not go in their favor for a while. But the youngsters would grow immensely from the experience.

      Good luck to both the teams and may Pakistan win the trophy.

    • pcexp on March 5, 2014, 17:28 GMT

      Dont understand these unlimited arguments about the best team .... Just imagine World Champions had to play a match deciding 3rd position in Asia against Afghanistan ..... And most notice able thing India came in with a BEST SIDE ... Fear to lose ?????

    • on March 5, 2014, 12:08 GMT

      @sergio11. ..my friend we accept our defeat against Zimbabwe but didn't lost the test series it was 1-1.We didn't played champions trophy well.We also lost odi series against southafrica but then we came back very strongly we won the odi series against southafrica in southafrica 2-1,we won the odi series against srilanka now we play well in asia cup and will play final vs srilanka.Our team is improving day by day but the way india had played against southafrica and newzealand last series it was disappointed so accept your defeats.I write all these comments because many indian fans are saying that india is far better side than pakistan,pakistan and srilanka are minnows that is totally rubbish knowing the past performances of both the teams.If india will do well in future we will appreciate it but till now pakistan is better side than india.Whatever we do against other teams we always done well against india and we also won last series against india by 2-1.

    • sergio11 on March 5, 2014, 10:46 GMT

      @ Nabeel Ahmad ....after 2002 ZIM has never won a test match against top ranked test side...thanks to pak..they won..and ofcoz pak is not top ranked..lol....where is ur common sense my dear friend..???comparing the ZIM team of before 2002 and now...yeaa find excuses for ur lose against them....but non will be enough to show that pak has the worst batting line up after BAN right now..

    • WeirdBeard420 on March 5, 2014, 10:29 GMT

      A battle between minnows to determine who is the 3rd best cricket team in Asia...

    • on March 5, 2014, 9:59 GMT

      @sergio11...thats a great excuse by you that Zimbabwe had great players in that side.It means India hadn't great players at that time ok forget that see this 01: 28 May 2010 at Bulawayo Ind - 285/5 (50), Zim - 289/4 (48.2) India lost by 6 wickets 02: 3 June 2010 at Harare Ind - 194/9 (50), Zim - 197/3 (38.2) India lost by 7 wickets That was the same team which had played against pakistan last year and also India have also lost 2 Test matches to Zimbabwe. Both in Zimbabwe at Harare in 1998 and 2001.

    • on March 5, 2014, 9:44 GMT

      @mr-icc...you are talking about pakistan bowling.Its one's in a year when pakistan bowling concede runs but for indian bowling its one's in a year not to concede runs so take it easy world knows pakistan is the best bowling attack and also learn to respect the other nations thats why you are being thrashed all over the world because you dont respect others bangladesh has improved a lot in the past couple of years they have played well and that was the bangladesh side which had defeated you in the last asia cup.

    • on March 5, 2014, 9:12 GMT

      Indian fans are making excuses that we have a team of youngsters ms dhoni, yuvraj,gambhir and sehwag are not playing in our side thats why we loses against pakistan and srilanka i wanna remember them one thing because they forget very quickly that they lost against us in their home conditions by 2-1 in january 2013 series when all these players were playing so dont makes excuses accept defeat and also our shoaib malik,younis khan and muhammad irfan were not playing we also have a team of youngsters.

    • cric_gates on March 5, 2014, 8:18 GMT

      @ Sidh78..Totally agreed with u man. Looks like Indian have broken Sl heart by thrashing them everywhere.Both Pak and Sl are lucky to win their matches against IND because of our day dreamer Dinesh Karthik who is thinking of replacing world best finisher Dhoni. Just play him his last match and throw him out of national squad forever. He dont deserve to represent India. Indian Selectors should not be shock by this showing of Karthik as he has previously done it before. Worst current Wicketkeeper. Even Raydu n Bisla Can keep better than him.

    • on March 5, 2014, 8:06 GMT

      @Mr_ICC.... Bangladesh played well because Pakistani bowlers were too relax in their approach... also effectively Pakistan played with 10 plaers (abdul rehman virtually not there).... so 1 front line bowler was less...... this happens once in a blue moon.... but look at indian bowling... consistently failing again and again.... Lol!!!!! @ ur revenge :p

    • on March 5, 2014, 8:02 GMT

      As a Pakistani fan I can appreciate the young talents in both the teams. India is experimenting with new combinations so its understandable the result might not go in their favor for a while. But the youngsters would grow immensely from the experience.

      Good luck to both the teams and may Pakistan win the trophy.

    • on March 5, 2014, 7:56 GMT

      my frnd Henderson soon u will find Gr8 Mahela Sanga n Mallinga finishing their career den u will have inexperience team of ur best 11. I see even no more fights from ur side against any of test playing nation.

    • on March 5, 2014, 7:54 GMT

      Everyone is talking like India bowling is week. If india bowling is week why pakistan chased the 245(less total) in the last over?

    • SHEREHIND on March 5, 2014, 7:52 GMT

      Something sinsiter is happening to Indian cricket, unchanged team , as I predicted. This is harakiri, even if India wins this match, this is unpardonable.

      Not giving chance to Pujara and Pandey, what is happening ?

    • on March 5, 2014, 7:52 GMT

      the icing on the cake for India will be a loss against Afghanistan and they can walk back to India

    • on March 5, 2014, 7:51 GMT

      Afghans do have the capability to defeat India, aggressive bowling, tight fielding and cool and calm battling will lead them to victory against India.

    • Sinhabahu on March 5, 2014, 7:51 GMT

      This comments section is really funny. We have some Indian fans praying for SL to win the final to spite Pak, some are praying for Pak to win the finals and spite SL, most are in the various stages of grief and seem to think that their inferior, over-hyped team still has some talent. Meanwhile, SL and Pak fans are all happy and wishing each other well. Too funny!

    • sergio11 on March 5, 2014, 7:48 GMT

      @Nabeel Ahmad...should i cry????is that ur gr8 discovery...ZIM during 1997-98 was good side....Andy Folwer,Grand Flower,Streak...is that the situation now...u knw that,everyone knw that...lol..looosing to team like ZIM now and claim better than IND,hw phtetic..

    • SHK1 on March 5, 2014, 7:46 GMT

      Can someone please tell Ambati Rayudu that India managed to get close to Pakistan only with the help of the umpires. If Jadeja was given lbw (Nigel Long) and Ashwin was given cb (Bruce Oxenford) I don't think India would have scored even 200. Cricinfo please post these comments

    • sidh78 on March 5, 2014, 7:44 GMT

      reason of negative comme. against india by sl fans. Indian team thrashed SL team every time recenetaly & every part of the world(in aus,wi,ban,even in SL).SL lost 9 out of last 12 matches.they lost to india in wc final,CT SF,final of Tri series in WI.due to this losses they feel helpless & heart broken against india.every time they hope for SL team's victory so that they can thrash indian fan on this forum.oh but every time medicore SL team disapointed SL fans.now sl fan realise that their team never win against india on cricket field so they get frusted &they express their frustration by posting negative comments on this forum.so sl fan thrash indian teams on this forum which their team can not do on cricket field.on forum only they can act like a winner because victroy on cricket field not required for such act.so indian fan please feel the pain of SL fans .atleast give SL fans chance to thrash indian team on forum because now they not have any hope from SL team.plz help them.

    • casimpk on March 5, 2014, 7:38 GMT

      no need to ridicule others! saying this to all, grow up! sorry sight to see people stooping down to lowest of the lowest, DISAPPOINTED.

    • Naresh28 on March 5, 2014, 7:36 GMT

      A plea to please give PUJARA one go at this type of game. Indian bowling was much better in the last game with MISHRA coming in. I wont be surprised if we see Rayudu keep and Karthik dropped.

    • pcexp on March 5, 2014, 7:35 GMT

      BIG 3 ... will try its best today to get 3rd position in Asia Cup ...

    • on March 5, 2014, 7:35 GMT

      cant believe they are still unchanged... there is nothing to gain or loose here... try the poor guys on the bench...

    • gannyboy on March 5, 2014, 7:32 GMT

      I can see a lot of Pakistani fans calling India minnows and enjoying and all. Guys dont forget this is an Indian team which is trying out a few things and to all those people who are counting India out just look at the way India plays in ICC events and you guys will eat your words. This Indian team is way better than many of the teams. Keep going India the best is yet to come.

    • on March 5, 2014, 7:30 GMT

      @ mr icc. Team india so called best batting attack couldnt cross 167 in 3 airtel odis bw pak india in india

    • on March 5, 2014, 7:29 GMT

      my team fr 2dy is rest karthik nd let's rayudu b d keeper nd nd let pujara ply in his place nd even rest shami nd bring in ishwar pandey . 2dy if pandey gets chance v can noe tat can he bowl in death overs r nt lik dis oly mishra had been sittin fr atleast 3-4 tours wt's use in makin sit out last match v saw how could he bowl so pls ply dis 3 spinners wit 3 quicks as already 2 spinners r all rounders so no probs of havin 3 quicks in d team as thy 3 can bowl atleast 25 overs nd 3 spinners 25 & one more thing is pls make rahane 2 ply wit dhawan he's more a capable plyr than rohit fr rotating strikes let rohit ply in d place wr rahane is plyin my team fr 2dy is dhawan,rahane,kohli,rohit,pujara,rayudu(wk),jadeja,ashwin,mishra,pandey, bhuvi let's bhuvi get another chance but it's very much imp 2 change d bowlin coach keep any indian fast bowler nd also a spin coach it ll increase confidence fr our boys

    • Kashi0127 on March 5, 2014, 7:28 GMT

      I'd love to see Afghans beating our beloved India team. High time somebody deflates the hugely egoistic BCII and India team. But one never knows. Even a loss to Afghanistan will be forgotten once the IPL tamasha starts and Dhoni or Dhawan hits 50 in a make believe match.

    • pcexp on March 5, 2014, 7:27 GMT

      @sergio11 .. When we are talking about Pak and Ind we have to remember HEAD TO HEAD odi matches between PAK & ind .... ind still need to win 22 more odi matches to reach Pak 72 wins against them ...... Isn't ???? Even Head to Head Tests ..... PK is UP with 9 to 5 ....

    • on March 5, 2014, 7:19 GMT

      Not sure what Pakistani fans are so proud of!!! Their team winning or India losing :-P

      India is just not able to finish off the matches. Let it be the Tests in SA, NZ or ODIs in NZ and also in Asia Cup. They just need a good win like that chase against SL at Hobart to give them confidence and break the jinx. They have too much talent to not win. Maybe by the time the WC 2015 starts many teams maybe struggling with new comers but India would have a settled team by then.

      India need to play 5 genuine bowlers and if they want they can start sending someone like Ashwin above Dhoni and Jadeja to use him as a batsman also.

      Indian XI in my opinion for ODI World Cup 2015 should be : Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Shami, Bhuvi, Aaron / Ishant. 11th player could be a bowler if pitch is flat or a batsman on a bowler friendly pitch

    • JUCCric on March 5, 2014, 7:19 GMT

      @Oracle_Magus: Absolutely agreed with you, the people of subcontinent should move forward and appreciate the game of cricket. ALl fans should have the sportsman spirit. Istead to appreciating the game, fans are criticising or ridiculing others. I hope that fans in the Subcontinent behaves maturely towards each other.

    • santhoshg016 on March 5, 2014, 7:17 GMT

      1.2 Billion peoples in INDIA.. still we cant see a fast bowler like kapil dev at this generation. India is still searching for a good fast bowlers.. Even in Ranji i dont see a good bowlers who are maintainig good line and length with the speed.. just see the gully cricket guys who are 21 or 22 who can bowl in 145kmph. BCCI should do some basic work they should Bring some League like IPL.. I m saying that to get some fast bowlers and hard hitters.. their are lot of talents who are still not able to prove due to poverty or luck.. BCCI should take some gud decisions to make Indian Cricket as a proud. their are lot of Sachin, Afridi, Lara, Mcgrath. in India..

    • Mr_ICC on March 5, 2014, 7:15 GMT

      Team pakistan the so called best bolwing side in the world??? rofllll a team like Bangladesh make 300 above aginst you. We shall seek revenge soon. Bleed Blue

      xoxo from venezuela. lot sof love team India

    • on March 5, 2014, 7:10 GMT

      @sergio 11...if pakistan than lost against Zimbabwe than have a look at those 10 ODI losses of India against Zimbabwe 01. 07 February 1997 at Centurion Ind - 216 (48.4), Zim - 171/7 (33.4) India lost by 3 wickets with 2 balls remaining (Target revised) 02. 15 February 1997 at Bulawayo Ind - 168 (43.5), Zim - 139/2 (25.5) India lost by 8 wickets with 73 balls ramaining (Target revised) 03. 30 September 1998 at Harare Zim - 259/5 (50), Ind - 222 (47.2) India lost by 37 runs 04. 11 November 1998 at Sharjah Zim - 205/7 (50), Ind - 192 (47.4) India lost by 13 runs 05. 19 May 1999 at Leicester (1999 WC) Zim - 252/9 (50), Ind - 249 (45) India lost by 3 runs 06. 8 December 2000 at Jodhpur Ind - 283/9 (50), Zim - 284/9 (49.5) India lost by 1 wicket 07. 7 March 2002 at Faridabad Ind - 274/6 (50), Zim - 277/9 (49.4) India lost by 1 wicket 08. 13 March 2002 at Kochi Ind - 191 (48.3), Zim - 197/4 (44.2) India lost by 6 wickets 09. 28 May 2010 at Bulawayo Ind - 285/5 (50), Zim - 289/4 (48.2

    • joe7sanchez on March 5, 2014, 7:04 GMT

      my team for today...rest jaddu,shami n bhuvi....they have played a lot and deserve a rest for a match...try binny,varon and pandey...i dont like varon but both bhuvi n shami needs break so varon is in.....i want pujara in but if he is in he should bat somewhere in top 3....and those who think afghan can beat india u dont know nothing about cricket.....yes i agree afghan played well but they wont beat top teams now i am sure they wil do better in comin years but not now....they may look good for few overs but top teams have players who can over turn the win ........and if BD won yesterday india would have gone for a kill and joke of afghan bowling....so be thankful that didnt happen...

    • on March 5, 2014, 7:01 GMT

      Afghan Players Learned cricket from Pakistan..During Soviet Union's invasion on Afghanistan..thousands of Afghan brothers migrated to Pakistan..They lived there for 10-30 years still...they played cricket in Pakistan from childhood..The current Afghan Players like shehzad, noroz mangal and many more played here in Pakistan, and Pakistan always supported their brother team..Afghan players trained here..nurtured and skilled by many pakistani players and coaches..And now they have developed themselves into a quiet strong team..Being a Pakistani, I feel Proud from Afghanistan..and ive always cheered them except (afghanistan Vs Pak) matches :P This Afghan team has lots of similarities with Pakistani team..they are also un-predictable, good bowling attack..decent middle order but weak batting line up...The attitude of batsmen to go for big shots..throw wickets etc..Everything is just like Pakistani team....Mark my words, This team will be soon in top 10 rankings and so on..

    • Mohammad.Imran.Hyder on March 5, 2014, 6:54 GMT

      Dear fellows Please allow me to consider this death rubber between two minnows :) What else should we call for the bottom table teams???? that too with all due respect

    • on March 5, 2014, 6:53 GMT

      This a important match for India to finish the tournament in a winning note. More importantly its the interesting matchup between the bottom two cricketing teams in Asia. Whos the winner?

    • mzm149 on March 5, 2014, 6:50 GMT

      Clash of the titans .....

    • on March 5, 2014, 6:50 GMT

      We have seen that Afghanistan as a team has started there International journey way better than any other in their times. All we want to see today is a fight. May be the target should be to restrict India to 250 and regardless of out come bat 50 overs. Best of luck

    • DontMessWithZohan on March 5, 2014, 6:50 GMT

      Even if they don't change the playing XI, I think they should change their batting lineup in this match to give new players better opportunities. I'd rather have Rahane as an opener with Dhawan. Then Kohli and Raidu in at 3 and 4 - with Raidu coming in at #3 if the opening stand goes well. Rohit can come in at #5 and or Jadeja at #5 if it is after 35/40 overs.

    • dinesh_mad on March 5, 2014, 6:50 GMT

      Yuvi,Raina,Dhoni should be back to strengthen the middle order..

    • Mr_ICC on March 5, 2014, 6:42 GMT

      It amazes me after reading some comments from the Pak fans. India lost to New Zealand with big margins???? India never lost to NZ with big margins infact if u all go through all the matches India lost these matches with a narrow margin. Secondly both our Asia Cup matches were lost in the last over. What are you guys proud of??? Afghanistan beating the shit outta you, Bangladesh puttting a total of 320 above (for a team who claims to be the best bowling side rofllll) and losing to Sri Lanks out rightly. One must not forget that we Indians our lead by an Inexpereinced Captain and moroever an inexperineced team. Yes we lost and no shame in accepting that, but we lost very tight games! We were never outrightly palyed by our opponents. And For those jummping jacks from the other side of the line shouldn't forget that saying, "DONT COUNT YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY HATCH."

      XOXO from Venezuela. Lots of Love Team India.

    • Super_Eyes on March 5, 2014, 6:41 GMT

      As a neutral fan, I believe its a great chance for Afghanistan to beat the world champion team and prove their point in front of ICC. Indians are out of form and this is a young and inexperienced team of India and momentum is totally against them at the moment. If quick Afghan bowlers can strike twice or thrice in first ten overs, then a comeback is gonna be very difficult for an inexperienced team which has been hammered by lower ranked kiwis recently and then lost to their arch rivals three days ago. Best of luck both team.Hoping for a thriller!

    • kumar_anindian on March 5, 2014, 6:40 GMT

      To all those Lankans feeling happy about India getting early exit,hope you remember that India is the team with most Asia Cup Titles -5.Get ready for a thrashing in the hands of Boom Boom in the finals.

    • sergio11 on March 5, 2014, 6:38 GMT

      @Nabeel Ahmad...ofcoz india is far better side than pak..no doubt about it....we didnt lost to ZIM in test...we didnt got bowled out for 47 in test....we are the defending world chapions and the champions thropy winner...

    • arjunaj on March 5, 2014, 6:37 GMT

      @sergio11; this is the problem with many [including you] Indian supporters! You are scared of accepting the truth when India is not the best! Why you bring out good old examples when people talk about what is happening at present!? In a competition there is no rule saying one team/person is always best; just accept it! That should make you feel comfortable in enjoying your "hobby", rather than getting disturbed by the comments others have made!

    • Monoz1976 on March 5, 2014, 6:29 GMT

      Hope for a close contest between evenly matched teams. It seems we are not competitive even at the Asian level without Dhoni. Hope we can pull out one more away victory against an associate team, I am scared though.

    • on March 5, 2014, 6:28 GMT

      If Afghanistan wins the toss,it should bat first and put a good total on the board to India .Afghanistan has a world class bowling that can depend a target of 250 against any team.Also Noor Ali and Nawrooz Mangal should open today and Mohamad Shehzad should come in number four... good luck to Afghanistan to cause another upset today...

    • ravian3 on March 5, 2014, 6:28 GMT

      Gud Luck Afghanistan.. I hope india losses

    • AjmalYousafzai on March 5, 2014, 6:26 GMT

      Afghanistan need to make few changes ,,instead of Hotak they should give chance to Rahmat and instead of Dawlat play Nazai if Hassin is not fit . my eleven would be : 1-Noralli 2-Mangal3-Stannekzai 4-Nabi 5-shenwari 6-Shehzad-7 Najeb 8 - Rahmat 09-Ashraf 10-Nazai/Hassin 11- Shapor

    • Monoz1976 on March 5, 2014, 6:23 GMT

      The way Afgan bowlers balled was brilliant. I must say they are much better than our mediocre bowlers. I was waiting for our match against Afgans. But, now I am bit scared about our victory against them as well. It is a pitty how we played in this regional tournament while we were boasting "Big 3", "No. 1" and so on. It is good we had our first match against Bangladesh, otherwise it would have been extending our winless streak further. Still, I am sad to see our away winless streak still continues against major teams (leaving Bangladesh out).

    • on March 5, 2014, 6:23 GMT

      My Xi team is as follows,

      1. Dhawan 2. Rahane 3. Kohli 4. Pujara 5. Sharma 6. Rayudu(WK) 7. Jadeja 8. Pandey 9. Mishra 10.Shami 11. Bhuvi

    • on March 5, 2014, 6:23 GMT

      India should rest Rohit & Shami for this match and bring Pujara and Pandey to the 11. Shami has been playing non stop cricket for long and he deserves a rest. They should try Rahane at the top and Put Pujara in the middle order. I think this team has played better cricket and they lost because of some 15-20 runs which if dhoni was there could've been possible. Neverthless i am impressed by Kohli's captaincy as he is always on the attack rather than letting things drift. This will be a complete team when Dhoni returns and he also should take or consider suggestions from Kohli when he take back the reins for World T20 and also in the future matches.

    • pcexp on March 5, 2014, 6:19 GMT

      @ pull_shot ... India would have not crossed 170-180 against Pakistan if Umpires decisions were right. WIN IS WIN ... No one requested Afgans to drop Umar Akmal's catch. Cricket fans must learn to appreciate other teams as well. Its only a game not POLITICS. Good Luck Afg & Ind.

    • Yousufahmed1 on March 5, 2014, 6:18 GMT

      @ Albert_cambell Well we all know who are ashamed of their identities in this world. Don't we?

    • on March 5, 2014, 6:15 GMT

      Oracle_Magus i agree, but i'm sure you've seen many posts how they abuse each other but where are you from mate? I'm from India but i live in the US atm. Good luck to team India and win this one for the fans please. Don't take Afghanistan lightly because they bowled brilliantly against Pakistan.

    • yohandf on March 5, 2014, 6:12 GMT

      Stage is set for Asia s No 3 qualifying game . India who was the third in last series will be looking to defend that while Afghans will try to get there . Good luck guys

    • on March 5, 2014, 6:09 GMT

      My eleven would be: 1) Rahane, 2) shikhar, 3) kohli, 4) pujara, 5) rahane, 6) raidu (wk), 7) jadeja, 8) Ashwin, 9) Shami, 10) Aaron, 11) pandey, 12) binny.

    • Monoz1976 on March 5, 2014, 6:09 GMT

      The way Afgan bowlers balled was brilliant. I must say they are much better than our mediocre bowlers. I was waiting for our match against Afgans. But, now I am bit scared about our victory against them as well. It is a pitty how we played in this regional tournament while we were boasting "Big 3", "No. 1" and so on. It is good we had our first match against Bangladesh, otherwise it would have been extending our winless streak further. Still, I am sad to see our away winless streak still continues against major teams (leaving Bangladesh out).

    • on March 5, 2014, 6:04 GMT

      best of luck .... Afgan :)

    • on March 5, 2014, 6:01 GMT

      Some indian fans are saying that india is better team than pakistan knowing the fact that india hasn't performed well against southafrica and newzealand and lost both the odi and test series against these teams with huge margins whereas pakistan beated india at their home by 2-1,beated southafrica in their home conditions by2-1 and won the series against srilanka in uae by 3-2 despite of the fact that pakistan is not playing at their home since 2009 and I also want to mention the fact that in india vs pakistan sunday match if umpire had given jadeja and ashwin out (both were lbw) pakistan would have restricted india below 200 and despite of the fact that two runs were also happened if these two runouts were not happened at that stage it would have been more easier for pakistan to chased the target and knowing all the facts still you are saying that we lost from minnows that is totally rubbish.

    • JAHID_OMAR on March 5, 2014, 5:55 GMT

      The Battle of Minnows..Wish both teams..!!

    • on March 5, 2014, 5:51 GMT

      Karthik should be dropped, making way for Pujara. Rayudu could be used as a keeping option. We have seen him keeping well in IPL

    • pull_shot on March 5, 2014, 5:46 GMT

      @Albert_cambell pakistan lost to zim,they would have lost Afgh if umar akmal catch was taken

    • electric_loco_WAP4 on March 5, 2014, 5:45 GMT

      All the best Afg! Go for the win.You can do it.And whole world is supporting you.Afg need to bat 1st,make most of the opp. to post their 1st 300 in odi.They wont get any better than this-A nice flat pitch vs an Ind bowling!Then Afg bowlers will do rest!

    • pull_shot on March 5, 2014, 5:42 GMT

      @ Albert_cambell ya as pakistan lost to ireland in 2007 wc

    • Lion_Wallaby on March 5, 2014, 5:38 GMT

      Good luck India!! hope you will beat Afghanistan and become No 3 Team of Asia!!! Both teams must be focussing so hard to earn their 2nd win for the year after beating Bangladesh!!! Should be a cracker!!!

    • on March 5, 2014, 5:38 GMT

      The debacle in the Asia cup was already expected. In the absence of Dhoni, it was an inevitable one. Karthik is no comparison to Dhoni. If Dhoni can win matches for India, Karthik can help India to lose the matches. In my comments on the selection of team for Asia Cup, it was stated that inclusion of Karthik and Ashwin was not going to do anything good. Exactly the same thing happened. Both were instrumental for India's demise. Why we persist with Ashwin. He is low in confidence and it has also started to reflect in his batting also, though his primary job is blowing where he is a total failure. The middle order is too weak and the opening is inconsistent. In which spot and on what surface Rohit can excel is a mystery. Our best hope now is T20 world cup where we can boast of a strong middle order in yuvraj, kohli and Dhoni. One can't expect too much from Raina except some brilliant work in the field. Let us wait for the T20 WC.

    • on March 5, 2014, 5:37 GMT

      My eleven would be: 1) rohit, 2) shikhar, 3) kohli, 4) pujara, 5) rahane, 6) raidu (wk), 7) jadeja, 8) Ashwin, 9) Mishra, 10) Aaron, 11) pandey, 12) binny. This would give rest to shami, bhuvi, also raidu can not keep worse than Karthick. At least he will bat better than Karthick.

    • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 5, 2014, 5:36 GMT

      @SLPus, sure. My prayer is for your 33.xx career average 'legend' to reach a 'legendary' career average of 34.xx at least before he retires as is the norm with Sri Lanja 'legends'.

    • sergio11 on March 5, 2014, 5:34 GMT

      @ Henderson De Silva...then why ur athletic,mega experience team doesnt manage to win single major tournmnet in the recent past???lol....Won a match against in ind once in blue moon and started to say SL is a better team...have u forgot the thrashing in HOBART...chased ur 316 in 36 overs lol....the same weak bowling attack bolwed out u guys in Champions thropy for 187..forgot all these???just recollect...one victory over a IND-A side wont change any of these bro...

    • Oracle_Magus on March 5, 2014, 5:29 GMT

      Dear friends, brothers and countrymen ;-), let the game of Cricket be a reason in bringing us together rather than tearing each other apart. There is a common factor that binds us all together and that's our passion for cricket. One needs to be passionate about our team too, but please don't make that passion create animosity towards each other. We should appreciate the achievements of each other and admire the feats of the Likes of Afridi, Sanga, Shaqib, Nabi and Kohl alike. Cricket is a Gentlemen's game and let the game build harmony among us. Let's enjoy the game and may the best team win. Cheers

    • on March 5, 2014, 5:29 GMT

      India hasn't played to it's potential but the difference in the 2 defeats doesn't show in any sense that it fared pathetic. Dhoni has been missed no doubt. Without Umar Akmal Pak wouldn't have qualified and without Sanga SL wouldn't have either. So that has to be kept in perspective.

    • on March 5, 2014, 5:28 GMT

      I think if Indian players give 100% then India can win from Afghanistan........

    • Albert_cambell on March 5, 2014, 5:28 GMT

      Afghan players should not think about all these hype given by Indian fans as they have Batting line up in the world. I remember the so called best batting line up was thrashed by Kenya at their home venue.

    • Albert_cambell on March 5, 2014, 5:23 GMT

      @Yousufahmed1 . You were calling me as a Sri lankan on the other day and now you have started calling me as a Pakistani fan. I have no issues if you believe me as a Sri lankan/Pakistani. Nothing can Change my South African Identity. If India Played on that wicket, they would have conceded over 400 runs.

    • on March 5, 2014, 5:19 GMT

      I hope that Indian's will get their second ods victory against Afghanistan. if the opening bats man get 100 run score without fail and also new comer will show their good performance.

    • mgsl on March 5, 2014, 5:14 GMT

      i think afganistan played some lovely cricket. they deserved more chances. because they overcome all the problems in their country.cricket united afgan people.

    • SLSup on March 5, 2014, 5:12 GMT

      Henderson! OMG Henderson! Hahahahahahahaaaaa! YOU crack me up the most! That post of yours is classic! I am going to copy & paste it in an email for my family to read! Too funny. WAY too funny.

      Don't be so harsh on the Indian team. They do better than us in Tests & ODI's. Meaning: if that team is THAT bad what does that make our SL team? : ) But Ya you are right in going after Indians who opine here! They are not very objective in their views and most of them are too emotionally aggravated to notice reality.

    • DinKJindal on March 5, 2014, 5:06 GMT

      There's clearly one difference between Dhoni and Kohli's captaincy. A captain's role doesn't have much impact while we are batting other than batting order or team selection but has a huge impact while the other side is batting including field set-up, bowling changes, body language and other psychological factors.

      This Asia Cup has been the first time after a long time that we were very close to defending even small scores. Kohli was certainly less conservative than Dhoni with quite innovative bowling and field changes and that adds psychological pressure on the other side.

      Both are certainly great batsmen and we certainly missed Dhoni's batting towards the end as well his wicket keeping.

    • indian1986 on March 5, 2014, 4:58 GMT

      India should play Pujara, and there are only 2 slots where he can play opening or no 3. I am not convinced with the argument that he should play at no 4. Batsmen playing at No 4 should be capable of both defending and attacking, if there is a wicket early he should be able to absorb the pressure and if there is a good start should be able to provide impetus to the innings. I dont think Pujara is really good at giving impetus, I personally feel that Rohit should come down to No 4 in the absence of Yuvi or even Rahane if Rohit bats at 5.

      I just dont feel Rayudu is of international quality, he scored a half century but was not convincing at all, for that matter even Binny is not good enough for international cricket. I would be glad if I am proved wrong. Big fan of AFG team, if they improve there batting then can be a force in international cricket.

    • Rashen on March 5, 2014, 4:56 GMT

      @Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist With all respect sir, SL hold a 5-0 white wash in England soil against England. This is just one of many, infact we won your independence cup as well. Yet With all respect, we have won series against Aussy in ausy soil. So just calm down a bit

    • on March 5, 2014, 4:51 GMT

      Indians, Don't just make everyone laugh by telling so much rubbish here and there, inexperienced , bad luck and so on..Your 11 players are the best 11 you got in your country,its not our problem that they are experienced or not,if you don't have 11 good experienced players what others are supposed to do, that's all you got then be happy with all you have..you have no good bowlers to stop a momentum of any sort, most of your 11 are pretty slow movers in the field and just jumping around just to impress the crowd, not effective at all. and the batters are just nothing without Dhoni, who comes to rescue every single match(only in SC conditions)..when he is not there you guys kept loosing, just try not to hide behind words like inexperienced and all, that's all you got in your country out of all those billions. The final bitter truth is Indians are not at all as athletic as other cricketing nations.

    • Prashant.akash on March 5, 2014, 4:50 GMT

      My Playing Xi should be:- Shikhar, rayudu, pujara, kohli, rohit, Kartik,jadeja, amit, shami, pandey, ashwin/ bhubneswar.

    • Yousufahmed1 on March 5, 2014, 4:49 GMT

      @ Albert_cambell Well every dog has its day. Like you went winless in champions trophy and last T20 WC. Who knows last night was your last win this year. Anyway now I would be supporting SL and have no doubt that they will thrash Pakistan. Pak fans are jumping so much after conceding 326 against Bangladesh and they call themselves the best bowling attack. LOL. Won with top edges against depleted Indian team and behaving like they won convincingly. No hope for this hopeless PAK team. Even Afghan would have thrashed them if not for lucky catch drop. LOL. No wonder they were thrashed by ZIM as well. LOL.

    • SLSup on March 5, 2014, 4:48 GMT

      Albert_cambell: You cracked me up! If India beat Afghanistan it is an upset? Hahaha. Hahaha. Hahaaaaa!

      Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist: your username cracks me up! Haha! You leave no room for guesswork when it comes to where your loyalties are! As for India winning in England, I think there are more Indians in England than there are Sri Lankan's in Sri Lanka! So don't take that Prudential Cup win so seriously. Geese you are old! When was it 1883? : )

      I also think we SL won 1996 World Cup cos we batted second in that day/night final in Lahore. Has any team won a game batting first in a day/night game at that Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore? I remember sometime later they hosted a tournament there and everyone waited to see who wins the toss cos the team that won the toss batted second and won the game! SO... I am still waiting for SL's first World Cup win - hopefully next year in Australia!

      Wish me luck Dravid/Pujara/Gravitas/Atheist! Say a prayer for us.

    • on March 5, 2014, 4:45 GMT

      Indian team has the weakest bowling side out of five teams playing in Asia Cup. And also without MSD Indian team unable to have cool captain to right decision making in the field as well as in the dressing room also. Other factor is If Kohli get out cheaply who can play the anchor role of the Indian batting. So Afgans has the favorite side of this game.

    • on March 5, 2014, 4:30 GMT

      I'm happy with Indian performance so far in 2014. None of the losses are abysmal and most importantly we won more sessions in all the 4 tests than in the 8-0 drubbing. SA Odis are disappointing, NZ ODis are close matches so are the Asia cup matches. More importantly the pak match could've gone either way.Tons of indian talent coming through. Khli, Pujara,Rahane, Vijay, jadeja have grown immensely as test cricketers Ojha will be special in the England series. With Saffers aging world beaters, mitch riding aussies, beaten England, I don't see any other top test team having good prospects (except may be de kock and elgar). As far as world cup is concerned, Dhoni used the nz series solely to give the players (who he believed will be in the wc squad) experience. Rahane needs to reinvent himself as a OdI batsman. Rohit doesn't fit anywhere except in India. Dhawan is a great prospect, Kohli is Kohli, Rayudu looks mature, Jadeja grwon into a world beater, Shami needs a break. Yadav in team

    • on March 5, 2014, 4:24 GMT

      Not surprising to see the Lankans and Pakistani's trashing India as for once they finished above India in a tournament in God knows how many decades. Bark now, might not get a chance again in this century.

    • Wardag on March 5, 2014, 4:20 GMT

      As an Afghan i am very happy to play against our friend, India, this is a good opportunity for our team to improve our experience, Afghan Team will show their talent against full member countries.

    • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 5, 2014, 4:19 GMT

      @Asela Zoysa, India won world cup in England too, beating Windies twice in that world cup, no less! What's your age, son? How many tournaments did Sri Lanja win outside of subcontinent again? Let me know.

    • on March 5, 2014, 4:19 GMT

      All shut man...still india r the world champ dnt forget....

    • on March 5, 2014, 4:16 GMT

      India did well in this series even if they lost to SL and Pak. I hope same kind of fighting game today . Afghan isn't a weakest team in ODI.

    • Albert_cambell on March 5, 2014, 4:12 GMT

      Most of my prediction went right in this series so far(Except for the match between Sri lanka and Pakistan). Afghan team will win tomorrows game as they have a good bowling.Their bowling attack is the second best in Subcontinent after Pakistan.If India beats Afghanistan its only going to be an upset.

    • SLSup on March 5, 2014, 4:10 GMT

      So this is what Indian cricket has come to under Virat Kohli - a target practice for Afghanistan? Just Kidding.

    • on March 5, 2014, 4:06 GMT

      Afghanistan has an outstanding bowling attack compared to the SUPERSTAR India. Looks like India have recruited their fast bowlers from their women's team !!!!

    • ramz_01 on March 5, 2014, 4:04 GMT

      india goin to walk off provedly wit win against bangaladesh and afghanistan.

    • on March 5, 2014, 4:01 GMT

      The battle of the Asian minnows of world cricket. India is the real flat track, home track bullies of the world and they have proved it. So called world champions can only dream of winning a world cup only at home. Hopefully Afghans will thrash these IPL superstars

    • on March 5, 2014, 3:56 GMT

      indian fans how can you say that india is a better team than pakistan knowing the fact that indian team hasn't performed well aginst southafrica and newzealand and lost both the odi and test series aginst these teams with huge margins whereas pakistan beated india 2-1 in their home conditions ,beated southafrica in their home conditions and won the series 2-1 and also won the series against srilanka in uae despite of the fact that pakistan is not playing at their home since 2009 and I also want to mention the fact that in india vs pakistan sunday match if umpire had given jadeja and ashwin out pakistan would have restricted india below 200 and would have easily chased the target and if those two runouts (misbah and maqsood ) were not happened pakistan would have chased the target within 45 overs and knowing all the facts you are still saying india lost from minnows.

    • InSINuATE on March 5, 2014, 3:44 GMT

      Go Afghanistan GO! I hope you guys play hard and beat India.

      Virat, you need to grow up. ViRAT's antics on the field are that of a clown, fool, an immature 13 year old. I have respect of MSD, and like the way he conducts himself on the pitch...ViRAT on the other hand has a lot to learn. Good batsmen, but nothing like Sachin or Ganguly.

    • on March 5, 2014, 3:42 GMT

      Rahane has proved that he is a good test player and Average ODI player, so he should be in test team only and not in ODi. That will give him more rest he is talking about for playing much cricket when asked about optional practice.

    • on March 5, 2014, 2:55 GMT

      India's lower middle order is really poor. There are Shikhar, Rohit, and Kohli who are good hitter of the ball and experienced enough at the top, although the opener just have not fired. However, the lower middle order of Ajinkya, Rayudu and Karthik are never tested and lacks experience. Moreover, they are not a big hitter hence not so great finisher. We really miss Yuvraj, Raina and Dhoni at 4-6. Yuvraj could have been given a chance here with small ground, its easy for him to clear every ball. Finally Gambhir in place of Rohit is a better option.

    • Oracle_Magus on March 5, 2014, 2:49 GMT

      With the two deserving teams already in the finals, both India and Afghans should just enjoy the game of cricket here. This is the match where India should try out most or all of their remaining players. Opportunities as these where the result is inconsequential will be hard to come for India, so they should rest the players who have already proved themselves and experiment with the rest. The Afghans are a good bowling unit and should aim at choking India during the Chase. We have got to see two amazing game of Cricket during this tour. Hope this match too goes to the wire. Best of luck to both teams. Cheers

    • Cpt.Meanster on March 5, 2014, 2:30 GMT

      It is funny to see so many Pakistani fans here when they have absolutely NO business whatsoever to comment about Team India's performance. Isn't your team already in the finals ? Commenting poorly about Team India just goes to show the standard of these people. Be happy that your team is playing SL in the final. Any team has its ups and downs. Didn't Pakistan go without winning a single game in the Champions Trophy last year ???? Who knows ! Pakistan could go winless after this Asia Cup. It's only a sport so chill folks.

    • mishaq on March 5, 2014, 2:22 GMT

      Now Afghanistan have shown that they can play against any team in the world their bowling is good but they have to work on their batting and also catching . And ICC and other cricket boards have to back them and give them chances to prove themsalves on big stages. Afghanistan has much talent of cricket and it will be a very good addition to world cricket.

    • Damian123 on March 5, 2014, 2:17 GMT

      Here comes the much awaited battle for the 4th and 5th places. One an emerging team, while the other (their Board) want to win matches / tournaments with bank balances. I pity their hoodwinked fans. Go Afghans, go, it's all yours!

    • YesKayR on March 5, 2014, 2:13 GMT

      Once this tournament is finished.. there will be new heroes from IPL.. everyone will forget the past.. will be heaping praises on IPL heroes and next tour to England.. history will repeat.. England was thrashed, battered by the aussies... but just see how they are going to perform against India. Players like Binny, rayadu, mohit sharma.. will be no good at international level nor will be wridhiman saha or dinesh karthik. test team shud be Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli, rahane, rohit sharma/ Ashwin / jadeja , dhoni, Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mishra, Ishwar Pandey / Aaron

    • YesKayR on March 5, 2014, 2:04 GMT

      Pujara & Ishwar Pandey do deserve a chance as the tournament is done and dusted for India. Binny, I think is a glorious domestic and IPL player, who will not do anything great at int'l level. Same goes with Ambati Rayadu.. one off knocks here and there not to be counted. Felt great watching Johnson bowl those rippers against South Africa yesterday... what seperates Team india from other top teams ... OBVIOUSLY is our bowling.. truth is we don't have a single good (I am saying good and not even world class) fast bowler or a spinner.. It is not that the other teams have technically perfect batsmen.. what they have are gritty batsmen.. alongwith technique u need grit also .. we lack that.. kohli & Dhoni ..being the exceptions.. The way Philander batted in the first innings (and many times before) of the 3rd test..shud be a lesson for our tail enders.. if we are willing to learn and implement only...

    • Indian_Kari_Pakku on March 5, 2014, 1:31 GMT

      Virat kohli failed twice and humiliated by both Pakistan and Sri Lanaka. I believe in this match Rohith Sharma should be the captain of the team. Kohli is useless as a Captain. If Kohli captain the team today the India will lose to Afganistan. Atleast now Indian fans knows the value of MSD.

    • on March 5, 2014, 1:04 GMT

      Rayudu should keep the wickets I know he is not a regular wicket keeper but he did it in ipl and u can see the example of U Akmal doing a keeping he is also a part time wicket keeper and throw karthik out and bring in pujra make him bat 3 kholi 4 that's makes look middle order little more experience and strong because pujra can't bat at 4 or 5 cause he will be too slow to go 6 or 7 run per over and also pujra and rahane both more like test players will slow the game down kholi can take the attack to the opposition and if kholi cames at 3 and gets out early than other inexperience batsman can't take the pressure and will get out and panday should also get a game so tomorrow XI should be R sharma S dhawan C pujra V kholi (c) A rahane A rayudu (wk) R jadeja R ashwin A misra M shami I panday

    • victortrumpet on March 4, 2014, 23:55 GMT

      Look at India's population compared to everyone else and the fact that India only plays one sport. Comparitively by some distance you are the worst performed team in cricket history. And then even when we dismiss the incredible population advantage, India is still still not in the top 5 teams in cricket history. Why????

    • on March 4, 2014, 23:51 GMT

      I have a feeling that this game would be a close contest. As far as Afghanistan goes they should bat first because they are not good at batting under pressure. India is a very strong batting side and Afghanistan is a very good bowling side so I think they even out and no reason not see a very good game. As a side note: Shehzad need to chill he cant just slag at everything. And please don't put Ashraf or Dawlat Zadran in the final over's it is best that Mohammad Nabi do death Bowling.

    • Jonah58 on March 4, 2014, 23:35 GMT

      Good luck to Afghanistan tomorrow keep showing the 'Big 3' that there is life in the associates. I hope Rahmat Shah gets a place tomorrow I was very impressed with his big game composure in the I-Cup finals last year. He may just provide the anchor role to allow all Afghanistan's talented stroke players to play around and he is a useful bowler as well.

    • on March 4, 2014, 23:13 GMT

      it is nice to see India taking Afghanistan seriously.Not sure whether Afghans have raised their game or it is the other way around.Any way hope it will be a cracker.Afghans should believe their talent and use it sensibly.

    • spinkingKK on March 4, 2014, 22:51 GMT

      Even though I am not totally against Karthik, I believe it's time to give the gloves to Rayudu and give a chance to Pujara in place of Karthik. But, if they are going to play Karthik, they have to send him at No.4 or even open with him. They are the most suitable positions for him. Also, give rest to Shami and bring in Pandey. Binny can not be tried out again. Because, there is no spots available.

    • Nampally on March 4, 2014, 22:15 GMT

      @Caldruid: Well said, Sir! Pujara has been targeted by Dhoni to decorate the Bench! Kohli seems to be following Dhoni's grudge against Pujara. The fact remains that India does not have any "Mr. Reliable" in the XI especially VS. good pace attack. Pujara is one but he is kept out of XI by design. If India has any hope of moving on a winning path in 2015 WC, they badly need a successful Pujara fighting for India on the NZ & Aussie soil. He is the only guy with perfect batting technique- reminiscent of Dravid, SRT & Gavaskar before him. Rayudu terminology "by a metre" is a joke! A Loss is a Loss whether by one run or 50 Runs! A sub 300 score on docile BD pitches shows how poor the Indian middle order was. Jadeja @#7 is playing better than the middle order. Such a prolific scorer as Pujara is in Tests, cannot be dropped like a Ton of Hot bricks in ODI. Pujara's S/R in Tests is nearly 60 - better than Karthik & Rahane's. What is the justification for benching him when selected in the Squad?

    • Cannuck on March 4, 2014, 22:15 GMT

      In getting ready for the result of this match, I foresee the following happening. 1. IND crush Afghanistan & IND fans (who currently in hiding under some rocks) claim they r the best in the world, Kohli the great etc.etc. 2. IND win barely, IND fans (who r currently insulting fans from other countries) claim they missed MSD, dew came into play. 3. Afghanistan win (barely or comfortably) IND fans blame the toss, then the pitch, find a scapegoat within their team, rather than giving credit to the winning team. Go onto say the players were too tired, too much cricket, Asia cup no big deal then won WC2011, insult every other country still playing, by bringing is crazy stats, like what Sachin did when he woke up from the left side of the bed etc. 4. Afghan win & big 3 headed by BCCI may decide to revoke Afghan associate status. Either way we neutral fans will have a laugh, watching the match, but mostly reading the post match excuses & stat wars. Keep us entertained India!

    • on March 4, 2014, 21:57 GMT

      Pujara as far as i know will get a chance tomorrow and should, a player of his caliber is being sat on the benches is a shame. Sharma has now scored a fifty so we know he's extended his visa in the indian team for about 10 matches and he will get away with not performing. Pujara gets two chances against Zimbabwe and he is made to sit on benches. Tommorow should be his day. He has got to perform, chances don't come by that easily for players like pujara. He has to make the most out of these limited opportunities. Somone like rohit sharma can maintain his ugly average of 35 and relax while others have to work ten times harder to atleast get as long a stay as sharma has in the Indian team. The current selectors are destroying India. They need to rotate players, what is rahanae doing in the team? karthik was just as poor in his performance. Rahane has shown he is good test player. A good player does not need a million opportunities to prove his place in the team.

    • GoCho on March 4, 2014, 21:49 GMT

      Before the tournament began I thought India would be thrashed by SL and Pak and we would win narrowly against Bangla and Afg. I think among the nations that play ODI cricket, our bowling is better only to ZIM.That we managed to drag SL and Pak close is just testament to the fact that the Asian teams are hardly playing good cricket. Overall a big letdown of a tournament with the quality of cricket being played and the only bright spot is the massive improvement shown by Afghanistan. Test cricket between SA and Aus seems miles ahead in terms of viewing pleasure and thrill!

    • ramz30380 on March 4, 2014, 21:36 GMT

      Guys, please stop bashin each other! Everyone is passionate abt their country so mocking another isnt going to help - moreover remember that any team is capable of beating any team on its given day!

      Ind fans, I too am upset abt India's performances in the recent past but that doesnt mean that we have to demean other teams. SL and Pak played better cricket!

      In a way I see it as a blessing in disguise for Ind cricket. Once in a while they get thrashed like this, they will come back with extra vigour. They lost Last Asia Cup but came back to win the CT in Eng!

      Ind will have to try out their bench - give everyone who has sat out a chance. This is the only thing left to do now! I dont see DK making a comeback, Ishwar Pandey in my opinion can be tried ahead of Shami or Kumar. Mishra has to play.

      Drop DK, give Rayadu the gloves, ask Pujara to come at No.3 and Virat to come at No.4. A trial like this wud help if they dont do it in a dead rubber like this, they can never do it at all!

    • on March 4, 2014, 21:05 GMT

      @Nawab67

      Afridi has done a lot of damage to India in the past when he was at his peak(ODI and Tests) and they probably assumed he cant hold a bat anymore. The innings today against Bangla showed that the sixes against Ashwin were no fluke. I promise you that the Afridi fear factor has returned now for all Asian teams ahead of T20 and ODI World Cups. Even if Afridi produces such an innings in ever 10 matches(32 Man of Match awards in 375 games) its likely to win the match and to be fair he has done it many times in important games. Afridi struggles against fast short pitched bowling so India or Bangla clearly didnt do their homework on him.

      I hear about Indian revenge at T20 WC but dont forget Pakistan are missing their best bowler Irfan and Pak are even more dangerous in the T20 format and have best ever record in the T20 WC and the best ever T20 players(Afridi, Ajmal and Gul). Bring it on

    • BetterReading on March 4, 2014, 21:03 GMT

      India should play Rayudu as Keeper and bring Pujara in the place of Karthik. Shami should be rested and Ishwar Panday should be brought. Amit Mishra should be given more matches and if needed in the place of Ashwin. Parthiv Patel should be groomed as backup keeper instead of Karthik. Mishra should be played on the tour of England along with Jadeja, since Ashwin is a big flop overseas and the next ODI world cup is in Aus-NZ in less than a year.

    • IndTheBest on March 4, 2014, 20:52 GMT

      Fans are being so critical on Kohli's captaincy and india's bowling attach. Some of the teams in the tournament were lucky to win toss and get opportunity to bat second where dew was a big factor. Dew was really a big factor in this tournament rather than talent of the team. Irrespective of that Dew discussion, I'd still prefer team India to test their bench strength. Pujara and Pandey deserves the chances as do others. As a whole, we definitely need Fit Yuvraj, Dhoni, Pujara and to extent Manoj Tiwari in betting to be able to complete with any team in the world. Bowling needs to be evaluated and pick better bowlers. We don't have clear winners yet.

    • FRpunk on March 4, 2014, 20:23 GMT

      @Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist

      Dinesh Karthik Should be thrown out of the team anyways , He has a Career Average of just 27 in 70 matches which is just not Good Enough . and Plus he is struggling with his Wicketkeeping as well . Karthik is a master of playing Dot balls . He is a 28 runs of 50 balls type of player . apart from a couple of centuries in warm up matches ( and a great ipl 2013) he hasn`t done anything to Prove that he is better than MSD in ODIS .

      and Plus India Lost to Pakistan and Srilanka because the these so called " Minnows " played better cricket than India .

    • ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP4. on March 4, 2014, 20:17 GMT

      @bouncer709....We have seen Afridi in the past and we will see him for few more months from now. Don't raise him to the sky.......you know what is going to happen afterwards ....Falling from heights will hurt you....

    • on March 4, 2014, 19:45 GMT

      Dear All, AFG team is a fresh team, Afg cricket board have some new talents who are currently under training, All full member teams/test nation teams are playing from a very long time 40 years but our team took their start from almost 4 years back but still challenging full members and their bowling attack doesn't allow oppositions to score 250 ... I know we have issue with the batting but that will be corrected soon InshAllah.. Once our batting is fine and stable than any team from full members who challenge us, will be treated....

      Please also check stats of U19 World Cup 2014 where Afg U19 are in good position.

      In football, Afg national team has beaten all oppositions at South Asia Cup 2013 and beaten Indian National football team in the final and Afg won the final....

    • arsalanaleem3000 on March 4, 2014, 19:43 GMT

      pujara averaging 54 in list A matches ...more than his team mates kholi (51), rahane (36), ryadu (34)... is this silly managment or he has any personal problems with team????? i cant understand

    • caldruid on March 4, 2014, 19:36 GMT

      Lost by a metre ? It's a good thing Ind lost - at least the errors and inefficiencies are glaringly visible to all. If they had won - then these errors would have been swept under the carpet. Can Kohli give Pujara a game at least now ? It's a shame that people like Dhawan and Rohit keep getting games and Pujara cant even get one. The WC is close - please give Pujara some games!!

    • bouncer709 on March 4, 2014, 19:31 GMT

      Free advice to India, be careful of pathans, we had four pathans (Shahzad, Gul, Juanid, Afridi) in our team who pulled the match from you, these Afghans all are pathans, and pathans are very dangerous.... on side note Indian fans who think Amit Mishra is a big bowler, don't jump to sky, he was lucky not to face Afridi............ ask Ashwin, who bowled to Hafeez and Sohaib and started thinking that he is a big bowler and wanted to do last over against Afridi.

    • Albert_cambell on March 4, 2014, 19:22 GMT

      The equation is simple for Afghanistan to beat India. Get Kohli out earlier, then the rest of the wickets will fall like peck of cards. With the batting, try to avoid losing wickets to Indian spinners and score runs at a rate of 3.50- 4 runs an over. If they can do that they can simply thrash those club level fast bowlers of India.

    • on March 4, 2014, 19:08 GMT

      India should hope not to be losing against Afghanistan

    • PremT on March 4, 2014, 19:07 GMT

      Team India management tries lots of things but not something intelligent. Anyways, the series is decided now. One intelligent decision is to give Ambati Rayudu the gloves and keep of Karthik. Give chance to Binny, Ishwar and Pujara. Deal is trying Binny at no. 3 and Pujara at no. 5. Ajinkya at no. 6 so that if there is a batting failure in the top you have someone in the lower order to make it up.

      Intelligent decisions and trial outs is what matters! Time to learn from the big guns like Aus and SA.

    • on March 4, 2014, 19:01 GMT

      Saying that inferior teams qualified for finals is height of over confidence, while team is at high risk of losing against Afghanistan even

    • on March 4, 2014, 18:56 GMT

      India has been exposed badly on tours out of India , all the big guns of India failed , India should put in best effort against Afghanistan, if they lose against Afghanistan , the misery will hurt them badly, worst Asian team at the moment

    • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 4, 2014, 18:54 GMT

      Sad part is, as soon as Dhoni comes back, Mishra will be thrown out of the team. What an injustice is being meted out to Mishra! This series most likely brought curtains down on Dinesh Karthik's career. Dhoni needs no excuses now to keep DK out of the squad. India needs Pujara in the middle-order. I don't see this team playing well in Australia and New Zealand when they are not able to beat bits and pieces minnows like Pakistan and Sri Lanja in Asia.

    • roshrosh on March 4, 2014, 18:54 GMT

      Battle of the minnows....

    • vkypak on March 4, 2014, 18:53 GMT

      two equally talented teams..... no doubt it will b clear upset if india wins tomorrow. india such a overrated team .

    • kamilkhuwaja on March 4, 2014, 18:52 GMT

      @ King Ashoka you're just trying to prove India better because people like you can't accept defeats. If you really want to see records then discuss all the records of late nineties.. I'm sure you will get to see one common ratio that is 72:50.

    • Nampally on March 4, 2014, 18:48 GMT

      In this "Unreliable & Iffy" batting, Pujara still does not find a spot in the XI. That is the most amazing part of XI selection. India has 1-2 pinch in Kohli & Pujara. India did not use Pujara for either SL or Pakistan ODI & lost both due to a poor Total. On the sub continental pitches even 326 runs from BD was a losing score. Kohli & Dhawan are the only big scorers whilst others if they score contribute modest totals of 50's. Pujara is the guy with lot of big scores to his credit. Not using him at least in a Dead Rubber Match is carrying the prejudice against a fine player too far. Mr. Kohli show your character here! Indian Selectors chose Pujara in the squad not as a Bench player but for playing in the XI. If he is not wanted why not send him back to India to play in the local competitive matches where he will be welcomed with open arms. Mishra showed how good he is when finally promoted to XI from several Benching. Can Pujara do the same, please?

    • GihanW on March 4, 2014, 18:46 GMT

      @Nabavi oh plz dude, wake up, you r still dreaming, or else you cn pinch yourself whn SUPERIOR india gets beaten by afgans tmrw!!!

    • TNAmarkFromIndia on March 4, 2014, 18:44 GMT

      I think when you have guys like Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu in your middle order, you're obviously going to have a much weaker side. Not to mention Dhoni's replacement Karthik has had a disastrous Asia Cup so far. India's strength has historically been batting, but this side was just not strong in any department. That said, the fight we showed against both Sri Lanka and Pakistan defending below-par totals was commendable. But yes, this team desperately needs an in-form Yuvraj and Dhoni back. There's none like them.

    • on March 4, 2014, 18:40 GMT

      1. Shikhar Dhawan 2. Ajinkya Rahane 3. Cheteshwar Pujara 4. Virat Kohli 5. Rohit Sharma 6. Dinesh Karthik 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Ravichandran Ashwin 9. Mohammed Shami 10. Amit Mishra 11. Ishwar Pandey

    • on March 4, 2014, 18:36 GMT

      Virat Kohli is a great batsman but I am not convinced of Virat Kohli , the captain. We have seen how much he overreacts in ooh-aah moments of the game which is little bit unbecoming of a captain. We have also seen how he has lead RCB (full of superstars) and failed to enter even semifinals in IPL. He should have given chance to Ishwar Pandey and Pujara against Bangladesh. To me he doesn't look like captaincy material. Although I would love to be proved wrong but I'd personally prefer Rohit Sharma as second captaincy option after Dhoni.--Shattered Indian Fan.

    • on March 4, 2014, 18:29 GMT

      2014 year so far is the story of dropped catches for young Indian team, Williamson got life by Vijay in first test, he goes on making century and India lost by 30 plus runs. In second test Kohli dropped catch of Maccullum on 9 and Macculum scored 300plus runs and India failed to won that match. In Asia cup against SL Kartik gave life to Sanga on 30 and Sanga scored 103 and we lost. In Pakistan match again Kartik gave life to Maksood and India lost again. Indian youngsters must overcome this mejor drawback. Now T20 WC is coming up. MSD too will be joining again. Just want to regain the efforts. No problem. We lost SA, NZ and Asia Cup. If we win T20 WC again everyone starts praising young Indian team. Rohit, Dhavan, Virat everybody is match winner. Just need to regain their efforts. All the best team India

    • on March 4, 2014, 18:27 GMT

      I'll be very surprised if Aaron, Ishwar, Binny and Pujara don't play this match. It's a great opportunity to try out these players considering India is already out of the tournament. I would like them in place of Shami, Sharma, Bhuvi and Ashwin. Why did Hamid Hasan not play against Pakistan and Srilanka? His record is exceptional and he did well against BD too?

    • on March 4, 2014, 18:25 GMT

      India should bat first and use the opportunity to try out the bench strength. This should not be mistaken for complacency as the players sitting out should be just as good as the playing 11 in an ideal World. I hope DK is rested too and our reserve keeper is given a go if we are touring with one.

    • king-ashoka on March 4, 2014, 18:25 GMT

      pak fans claim they r the best team on bouncy tracks. now look at pakistan overseas records 1999 AUS: aus whitewashed pak 3-0 2004 AUS again australia whitewash pakistan 3-0 2009 AUS again aus whitewashed 3-0 in tests and 5-0 in odis.. 2013 RSA southafrica whitewashed pakistan 3-0 in tests... bowled out for 49 the lowest ever score... so pakistan has 0-9 record in australia 0-3 in southafrica and 1-3 in england..... now look at india records 2002 in eng drawn series 1-1 2007 in eng won series 1-0 in 2011 in eng england whitewashed india 4-0... in aus 2003 drawn series 1-1 in 2008 aus lost 1-2 in aus 2012 australia whitewashed india 4-0 ................ in rsa 2006 lost 1-2 in rsa 2010 drawn series 1-1 in rsa 2014 lost series 0-1 .............. so overall india has a better overseas record than pakistan in AUS and RSA

    • Retour on March 4, 2014, 18:18 GMT

      I am looking forward to some exciting cricket from Afghanistan. Good luck to AFG!

      As for young Ind side, I would have loved to see Pujara play earlier. But since this game is a dead rubber and with T20 WC next, play those who are in the T20 squad and did not get enough opportunities in the Asia Cup, i.e. Varun & Stuart. Feel sorry for Pujara and Panday. One of Karthik or Rayudu (both not part of T20 squad) can take a break and the other can keep wkts. Rest Jadeja, we need him fresh for the T20s!

    • Akram6 on March 4, 2014, 18:17 GMT

      Yuvraj, Gambhir and Sehwag should return to ODI side. Dhawan, Rohit, Rayudu and Rahane should be drope for forever......

    • on March 4, 2014, 18:16 GMT

      Binny need one more chance

    • yorkslanka on March 4, 2014, 18:11 GMT

      Quality from narbavi as usual...enjoy the final...

    • on March 4, 2014, 18:10 GMT

      It would be nice If Pujara debuts tomorrow. Anyway it is a dead rubber why not give Ishwar Pandey and Pujara a chance

    • on March 4, 2014, 18:06 GMT

      @Editor : India have met Afghanistan twice. The first instance was at St Lucia in 2010 T20 world cup which India won chasing with more than 5 overs to spare.

    • Narbavi on March 4, 2014, 18:06 GMT

      @GihanW: Tell you what, look at the bigger picture. We are the World Champions and we underlined that by winning the Champions Trophy last year. We all know how lucky Pakistan and Lanka were to beat India this tournament.

    • on March 4, 2014, 18:04 GMT

      This is wrong they've also faced each other in 2010 ICC world T20 on 3 May.

    • Equanimous on March 4, 2014, 18:03 GMT

      Afganistan have a better ODI win percentage than india in the last few months. India: one win out of 11 odi's (less than 10 %) Afghanistan : one win out of 3 (33 %).

    • Kirk_Levin on March 4, 2014, 18:02 GMT

      Hmm, I will watch the match mainly for Afghans bowling. They mix it up well and don't always resort to bowling just line and length. It will be a close match if Afghan boys can score over 250. churr bud. Hope to see Nepal and Ireland also succeed in cricket. about time

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:58 GMT

      Narbavi. Haha, inferior team? Talk about false sense of security. I guess, that's why India has failed to win a single match, in their last two tours and have been one of the worst performing team away from home. When was the last time, the powerful Indian batting line-up score over 300 against Pak? Even during that 2012 ODI series, India failed miserably. Look at the ground reality and realize, future doesn't look too good.

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:58 GMT

      The second point in the Stats and Trivia is incorrect...India and Afghanistan have squared off TWICE, not ONCE in T20 Cricket...Other than in the 2012 WT20 in Sri Lanka, they have also met in the previous edition in the Caribbean in 2010, which was Afghanistan's maiden foray to the global stage...India won that match quite easily

    • Stat1977 on March 4, 2014, 17:56 GMT

      Someone said India lost to two inferior teams.But Where is their superiority whenever they come out of home.Loosing 18 matches out 19 and just one win against BD, who lost to Afghans.So Can you tell me how you measure the Inferiority?.Afghan bowlers are way better than below average Indian bowlers.Go Afghanistan go! PAK,SL,BD,WI,NZ,AUS,ENG,SA..all cheer you tomorrow.Cricket world rather need more competitive teams in the game than home heroes.

    • Herath-UK on March 4, 2014, 17:55 GMT

      You are right india should not repeat the mistakes & play to their best ability to get over the Afg.This is a very very important game & hope Kohli handles his troop well.

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:52 GMT

      Last game for Afghanistan and hopefully, they can finish on a high. They bowled really well throughout this tournament and I'm sure, with this Asia cup experience, they have learnt what is required to score runs at the top level. Good luck.

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:49 GMT

      They really need to get rid of Dinesh Karthik, he is useless behind the stumps and not a sensible batsmen. On these pitches he should have scored good runs so imagine what will happen when he goes outside subcontinent. In India vs Pakistan match, India had a good start, then talented sharma give it away. Then Raydu (who really looks good batsmen) stabilize the innings. Dinesh helped with his small role but then Dinesh gave it away and ruined it for india totally. I bet if it was Dhoni then Pakistan would have been looking to chase around 300 if not more than 300.

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:47 GMT

      for t20 shikhar rohit virat yuvraj raina dhoni yusuf jadeja amit shami umesh

    • ShawnWoodsworth on March 4, 2014, 17:47 GMT

      neanderthal. Your username suits you mate, similar regressive Indian thinking. This is a Cricket forum, where everyone is allowed to comment and have a debate. Indians not only comment on the performances of their own team but they do it (with passion) other teams as well. Instead of getting sensitive and abusing people, try being more open minded. Cheers

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:45 GMT

      gambhir rohit virat yuvraj raina dhoni jadeja irfan amit ashwin shami

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:45 GMT

      This match should be abandon this is just a dead rubber

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:44 GMT

      Afghanistan must change their Opening batsman. Muhammad Sahzad must be brought 2 down and Stanikzai must be bought as opener. Singles must be taken at every over. Then shots at every intervals.

    • ShawnWoodsworth on March 4, 2014, 17:41 GMT

      Been really impressed by these big Afghan lads ay. They look tough and strong, just like Rugby players. They also play exciting brand of cricket and hope, they continue to do well ay. Cricket needs to grow as a sport but looking at the current mess within the ICC (greedy and shady administrators), future doesn't look too good. Take the game to China, USA, Gulf nations mate. It will make Cricket more exciting to follow. Cheers.

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:41 GMT

      Tomorrow is the finals for the BIG ONE (of the so called 3) India should play Afghan Ireland Scotland UAE and Canada for away series if they are to keep their 2nd ranked spot or even better play only at home

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:41 GMT

      India be careful against Afghans. Against Pak, you dealt with just one Pathan. Against Afghanistan, you are against 11 Pathans :)

    • GihanW on March 4, 2014, 17:40 GMT

      @Narbavi wake up man, u r still living that indian dream!! by the way i wanna point out that the two inferior teams are playing the final of asia cup while your SUPERIOR team is going home!!! and also your SUPERIOR team won only once in it's last 12 outings, nd that is also against BD. what do you say abt that dude???

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:39 GMT

      I hope that Afghanistan bring Nawroz And Noor Ali as opening pair and shezad should come at No.6 and tomorrow game thay should give a chance to rahmat shah he is a good batsmen and also bowl very well.

    • KaptainKool on March 4, 2014, 17:37 GMT

      Playing XI for tomorrow's dead rubber. shikhar pujara kohli rohit rahane rayudu(wk) jadeja binny mishra aaron pandey Best time to test the bench strength.

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:35 GMT

      the tournament have been settled by all means for India, it doesn't matter if they win or lose the game against Afghan. Afghanistan , from the looks of their performance is a much stronger side than this current Indian team .

      India can play this game as an opportunity to give chances to Pujara and Ishwar Pandey. Amit Mishra should be in the team .

      India should keep DK out of their line up , since they already have Rayudu who can keep wickets and a far more better batsman than DK.

    • neanderthal on March 4, 2014, 17:34 GMT

      @Albert_cambell . lol.. Even Indian fans do not have so much passion following Indian games as you have. Win or Lose, India is still the team that gets so many comments from people like you. Surely, not even the WI of 80s had so much popularity :D. Why dont you start following your own team too. May as well contribute some revenue to support cricket in your own country. Juss sayin...

    • _IndiaRocks on March 4, 2014, 17:32 GMT

      Pointless match to watch as per tournament.

      It would be better if India try their bench, but I doubt that will happen.

      This Indian team is weak as it is and I highly doubt they will take any chances against Afghanistan who did well in this series.

      If they go ahead by having some changes, then it would be Pujara in for Dinesh Kartik and Rayudu would do keeping. Shami can be given rest and they can bring in Ishwar Pandey.

      I don't see Binny in playing eleven as Mishra would be definitely playing, unless they give Bhuvaneswar Kumar rest aswell.

    • jerryman on March 4, 2014, 17:24 GMT

      India should not be complacent . If they win toss should bat first as the Afghans are not good at chasing a target . They have a decent bowling attack and scoring may not be easy , depending on the type of pitch being played. The only reason why India is not in the finals can be blamed on team selection . Some of their best players were just bench warmers like Pujara and Mishra. Hopefully there can be some positives learnt .

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:15 GMT

      this is a good combination by Afghanistan they should call Noor Ali and Nawroz Mangal as openers that will be a great start for them and India should not take Afghanistan easy that's not important that they didn't play well against Pakistan and sri Lanka but they will do better against India to prove themselves at the end I wish good and winning luck for Afghanistan.

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:13 GMT

      What s the use of playing with same XI. Test the bench strength, bring in PUJARA...

    • Albert_cambell on March 4, 2014, 17:08 GMT

      I wouldnt call this as a dead rubber. Actually this is going to be a nail biter as two equally matched teams taking on each other. Both are equal in terms of strength and skills. This is probably going to be the best game of the tournament.

    • krishy23 on March 4, 2014, 17:06 GMT

      I really hope that India bring in Pujara! Such a talented batsman. He's so unlucky to miss out on a spot in the XI. Surely he can replace Dinesh Karthik and let Rayudu keep wicket.

    • Narbavi on March 4, 2014, 17:04 GMT

      Had India taken their chances, they would have been in the final already, they got themselves to blame for letting two inferior teams qualify while they are out. Missing chances are part and parcel of the game, but missing chance after chance after chance is just ridiculous. Anyway, hope lessons are learnt for the future.

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:04 GMT

      India did play Afghanistan in 2010 WC and won by 7 wickets... A correction on your stats

    • keerthitommy on March 4, 2014, 17:00 GMT

      Ishwar and pujara should play

    • No featured comments at the moment.

    • keerthitommy on March 4, 2014, 17:00 GMT

      Ishwar and pujara should play

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:04 GMT

      India did play Afghanistan in 2010 WC and won by 7 wickets... A correction on your stats

    • Narbavi on March 4, 2014, 17:04 GMT

      Had India taken their chances, they would have been in the final already, they got themselves to blame for letting two inferior teams qualify while they are out. Missing chances are part and parcel of the game, but missing chance after chance after chance is just ridiculous. Anyway, hope lessons are learnt for the future.

    • krishy23 on March 4, 2014, 17:06 GMT

      I really hope that India bring in Pujara! Such a talented batsman. He's so unlucky to miss out on a spot in the XI. Surely he can replace Dinesh Karthik and let Rayudu keep wicket.

    • Albert_cambell on March 4, 2014, 17:08 GMT

      I wouldnt call this as a dead rubber. Actually this is going to be a nail biter as two equally matched teams taking on each other. Both are equal in terms of strength and skills. This is probably going to be the best game of the tournament.

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:13 GMT

      What s the use of playing with same XI. Test the bench strength, bring in PUJARA...

    • on March 4, 2014, 17:15 GMT

      this is a good combination by Afghanistan they should call Noor Ali and Nawroz Mangal as openers that will be a great start for them and India should not take Afghanistan easy that's not important that they didn't play well against Pakistan and sri Lanka but they will do better against India to prove themselves at the end I wish good and winning luck for Afghanistan.

    • jerryman on March 4, 2014, 17:24 GMT

      India should not be complacent . If they win toss should bat first as the Afghans are not good at chasing a target . They have a decent bowling attack and scoring may not be easy , depending on the type of pitch being played. The only reason why India is not in the finals can be blamed on team selection . Some of their best players were just bench warmers like Pujara and Mishra. Hopefully there can be some positives learnt .

    • _IndiaRocks on March 4, 2014, 17:32 GMT

      Pointless match to watch as per tournament.

      It would be better if India try their bench, but I doubt that will happen.

      This Indian team is weak as it is and I highly doubt they will take any chances against Afghanistan who did well in this series.

      If they go ahead by having some changes, then it would be Pujara in for Dinesh Kartik and Rayudu would do keeping. Shami can be given rest and they can bring in Ishwar Pandey.

      I don't see Binny in playing eleven as Mishra would be definitely playing, unless they give Bhuvaneswar Kumar rest aswell.

    • neanderthal on March 4, 2014, 17:34 GMT

      @Albert_cambell . lol.. Even Indian fans do not have so much passion following Indian games as you have. Win or Lose, India is still the team that gets so many comments from people like you. Surely, not even the WI of 80s had so much popularity :D. Why dont you start following your own team too. May as well contribute some revenue to support cricket in your own country. Juss sayin...