Deadline: November 14, 2019 at 7 PM IST
Venue: Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium, Lucknow
The pitch sprung surprises every now and then in the ODI series. The moment it looked good to bat on there was a derailment of wickets. The ball spun on some patches and straightened on some. However, swing was constant until the ball had its shine intact.
We will now be heading to T20Is and the pitch is tailor-made for the format. Expect a flurry of runs.
Probable XI for Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan (c), Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fareed Malik
Probable XI for West Indies: Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Kieron Pollard, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Sheldon Cottrell, Alzarri Joseph, Hayden Walsh
NOTE: Pick your fantasy cricket team wisely.
We have opted for a fantasy team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.
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Note: You can now select 1-4 wicketkeepers, 1-6 batsmen, 1-6 all-rounders, 1-6 bowlers.
Wicketkeepers: Denesh Ramdin
Batsmen: Asghar Afghan, Hazratullah Zazai, Brandon King, Evin Lewis
All-rounders: Mohammad Nabi, Fabian Allen, Kieron Pollard
Bowlers: Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sheldon Cottrell/Hayden Walsh
It is a surprising fact that West Indies, the World Champions, are ranked No. 10 in ICC T20I Rankings. However, it is a format they love and so do Afghanistan. Because both teams like being aggressive, they find more comfort in the shortest format.
Afghanistan have been remarkable in T20I since 2018, winning 12 of 16 matches. Their overall tally isn’t bad either, emerging victorious in 51 of 75 matches. This is the very reason they are 2 placed ahead of West Indies in the rankings. After the 2016 World T20 triumph, West Indies have managed to win only 10 of 35 matches. If there is anything that will provide consolation, then it is the fact that they have won 3 of 4 matches against Afghanistan.
That being said, West Indies now have a new captain in Kieron Pollard who gave them their first ODI series win since 2014. The team looked decisive and confident under his leadership, and will be aiming to emulate the 0-3 result in the T20Is as well.
Players to watch out for
Brandon King was the highest run-scorer in the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL), having blasted 496 runs with a stunning strike rate of 148.9. With 66 runs fewer, Lendl Simmons was at the second spot.
Hayden Walsh’s leg-spinners were difficult to pick during the CPL, so much so that his 22 wickets were the most in the tournament.
Afghanistan too have come afresh from the 2019 Shpageeza Cricket League, and the selectors have picked the top performers . At the No. 1 position was Noor Ali Zadran with 354 runs. Javed Ahmadi and Kareem Janat scored a century each.
In the bowling department, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Naveen-ul-Haq took 10 wickets each, maintaining an economy of under 8 RPO.
Tables turn in no time in T20 cricket. Afghanistan’s recent form in T20Is puts them ahead in the race. West Indies’ domination in the ODI series gives them the edge.
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Asghar Afghan, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Rashid Khan (c), Karin Janat, Fareed Malik, Yamin Ahmadzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Sayed Shirzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
West Indies: Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard (c), Sherfane Rutherford, Fabian Allen, Kesrick Williams, Jason Holder, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Hayden Walsh, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Alzarri Joseph