Ishan Kishan not playing: India have made a couple of changes for the second time in a row in ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
During the 33rd match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2021 between India and Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi has won the toss and chose to field.
“Will bowl first. Last game there was a lot of dew in the second half. Mujeeb [Ur Rahman] isn’t playing. We always prepare for both, but today we’ll bowl first because of dew. We’ll play normal cricket and go and enjoy,” Nabi said at the toss.
Being asked about the changes made to their Playing XI, Nabi confirmed a replacement for former captain Asghar Afghan (retired after last match) in the form of Sharafuddin Ashraf. Readers must note that Afghanistan will once again be taking the field without spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman as he missed his second match in a row due to an injury.
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Why is Ishan Kishan not playing vs Afghanistan?
Much like Nabi, India captain Virat Kohli also wanted to field first. However, it is now third time in a row that Kohli has lost a toss. Acknowledging that their chances of qualification remain “tricky”, Kohli opined that batting first against Afghanistan wouldn’t be a bad thing overall.
“Firstly, there’s no denying the fact that the situation is a tricky one. Having said that there’s still a chance. We as a team will look at the chance and try to play positive cricket.
“We know we haven’t played up to potential whatever the reasons might be – need to brush that aside. Would have bowled first. But it’s not a bad thing against a side like Afghanistan who look to put up runs on the board,” Kohli said at the toss.
As far as the changes for the Indian team is concerned, they have included batter Suryakumar Yadav and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for Ishan Kishan and Varun Chakravarthy. “Couple of changes – Surya [Suryakumar Yadav] is back as he’s fit. [Ravichandran] Ashwin replaces Varun [Chakravarthy] who has a bit of a niggle,” Kohli added.
Readers must note that Ashwin is playing a T20I after as many as four years. Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium will also witness Ashwin and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja playing a white-ball match together for India after a four-year gap. In 46 T20Is for India between 2010-2017, Ashwin has picked 52 wickets at an average of 22.94, an economy rate of 6.97 and a strike rate of 19.7.