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India vs Afghanistan, Asia Cup 2018: Team India Report Card - How MS Dhoni & Co fared against Afghanistan

Hindustan Times takes a look at the performance of the Indian players in the Super Four encounter against Afghanistan in Dubai.

cricket Updated: Sep 26, 2018 11:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
asia cup,asia cup 2018,india vs afghanistan
India failed to score 7 runs in the final over against Afghanistan on Tuesday.(AP)

The Indians took the field against Afghanistan in Dubai on Tuesday with an eye on testing the bench strength, but the move almost backfired as Afghanistan managed to tie the game against the best team on display in the ongoing Asia Cup in the UAE. Chasing Afghanistan’s score of 252, India needed 7 runs in the final over, but they couldn’t cross the line.

Hindustan Times takes a look at the performance of the Indian players in the Super Four encounter against Afghanistan in Dubai:

KL Rahul – Rating: 8/10, Verdict: Good

Given an opportunity at the top of the innings as the team management decided to rest regular openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul made the most of it by scoring a 66-ball 60. While the innings was on the slower side, it must be said that the wicket wasn’t the easiest to bat on. But there is no way that KL Rahul can be forgiven for wasting the DRS when he looked plumb in front. It meant that the other batsmen didn’t have the review at their disposal and a couple of decisions could well have gone India’s way if the DRS was still available.

Ambati Rayudu – Rating: 8/10, Verdict: Good

He did miss Mohammed Shahzad’s catch to gift the Afghanistan wicket-keeper a century, but his exploits with the bat once again showed that he is one of the main contenders for the middle-order spot that the team management has been losing sleep over with the World Cup round the corner. While Tuesday’s knock came as a makeshift opener, it does show that Rayudu has the game to play against quality bowling attacks. In fact, he was the aggressor when Rahul struggled to get the scoreboard moving in the first 10 overs.

Dinesh Karthik – Rating: 6/10, Verdict: Average

Finally given a decent go in the middle, DK showed that he has the game to anchor an innings. But he clearly needed to move on and take the team home after settling down at the crease. He looked good in phases, but needs to be a little more aggressive when it comes to the shorter format. A scoring rate of 66.67 at the No.3 slot is just a bit on the slower side.

MS Dhoni – Rating: 7.5/10, Verdict: Good

Leading the team for the 200th time in ODIs, Dhoni didn’t really start on the right foot as he lost the toss and Mohammed Shahzad tore into the Indian bowling attack. But MSD once again showed his class behind the wickets as he registered some swift stumpings and also made some quality changes in the bowling to keep the Afghanistan batsmen in check after the Shahzad onslaught. Coming in to bat at No.4, it was a dubious decision that saw the India skipper walk back to the pavilion after scoring a 17-ball 8. Replays showed the ball was missing the leg stump, but India had no review left.

Manish Pandey – Rating: 2/10, Verdict: Poor

Finally given a go in the playing XI, Manish was expected to make the most of the opportunity. But he failed to rise to the challenge and managed to score a 15-ball 8. With the game hanging in balance after the dismissal of Dhoni, it was the perfect situation for Manish to show the team management how he can be the answer to the middle-order jigsaw, but that shall have to wait for the time being.

Kedar Jadhav – Rating: 6/10, Verdict: Average

It was a case of shinning in spells for Kedar Jadhav. While he did finish well with the ball (1/27 from 7 overs), Kedar had the stage set for a lower order flourish to take the team home under lights. But Kedar got out against the run of play after scoring a 26-ball 19. Getting run out in such a situation was a cardinal sin.

Ravindra Jadeja – Rating: 6/10, Verdict: Average

Sir Jadeja undid all the good work with the ball when he failed to take the team home with just 7 runs required off the final over from Rashid Khan. After putting up a quality display with the ball to finish with figures of 3/46 from his 10 overs, he was expected to also take the team home, having settled down. But Jadeja failed to make his experience count as India only managed to tie the game with Jadeja being dismissed off the penultimate ball of the India innings.

Deepak Chahar – Rating: 2/10, Verdict: Poor

He was all smiles after being handed the cap at the start of the game, but that turned into misery as the Afghanistan batsmen — led by Shahzad — got stuck into the fast bowler. While he did manage to pick a wicket, it was a day that Chahar would like to forget soon. Also, he still has some learning to do when it comes to bowling the right line and length against batsmen who are looking to attack from the word go.

Kuldeep Yadav – Rating: 9.5/10, Verdict: Excellent

You have to be bowling really well when an in-form Shahzad doesn’t look at anything but a forward defensive prod against you. Kuldeep was at his best as he not only kept the Afghanistan batsmen under pressure with his tight line and length, but also came very close to claiming his maiden hat-trick in ODI cricket. He was seen flighting the ball constantly to entice the Afghanistan batsmen to go for the big shots and that shows the confidence he has in his bowling. He was the go-to-man for Dhoni with Shahzad looking to run away with the game.

Siddarth Kaul – Rating: 2/10, Verdict: Poor

Handed an opportunity as the team management decided to rest the duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, Kaul failed to grab the chance and ended up with figures of 0/58 from his 9 overs. He looked completely clueless in the middle of the Shahzad onslaught and will need to work on his game to find a place in the first XI.

Khaleel Ahmed – Rating: 8/10, Verdict: Good

Starting off on the wrong foot, Khaleel showed great character to come back strongly in the death overs as he finished with figures of 1/45 from his 10 overs. It almost looked like MSD knew what his young bowler was planning as he let the bowler decide his own field. The youngster did repose the faith of the captain as he gave away just 6 runs from his last 2 overs in the death.

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 11:25 IST