MS Dhoni to lead India against Afghanistan: MS Dhoni was handed the baton ahead of the toss for the match against Afghanistan.
During the fifth match of the Super Four stage of the ongoing Asia Cup between India and Afghanistan at Dubai, the Indian team management made an astounding decision to hand over the reigns of the team to former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Ahead of the toss, citing the dead rubber in mind, it was expected that India would make at least a couple of changes to the playing eleven. However, with a tightly-scheduled tournament such as this, the management decided to rest as many as five players in Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal.
India also made a point to test their bench strength as they have included all the players who were warming the bench as of now. This development means that Rajasthan’s Deepak Chahar will be seen making his ODI debut. The 26-year old right-arm pacer had earlier represented India in T20Is during the tour of England.
The other four players who made it to the playing XI were Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Siddarth Kaul and Khaleel Ahmed.
For the fans of Dhoni and perhaps the whole country, it was a nostalgic moment to see him captain India after 696 days. This opportunity will also make sure that he completed 200 ODIs for India as captain.
With Afghanistan winning the toss and electing to bat, it means that India will once again chase under lights, something they have done brilliantly in this tournament.
Dhoni let out that the Indian team was already looking to bowl first. “Quite a few changes. Both the openers are missing, Bhuvi, Bumrah and Chahal are also missing. Everybody who hadn’t played in this tournament get a chance.
“They are part of the 15 and are representing India. We’ll have to keep the intensity up. It is important for them to adjust to the line and length they need to bowl”, he said.
On being asked about the feeling of captaining India for the 200th time in ODIs, Dhoni was quoted, “I was not really sure of where I am standing. I have captained 199 ODIs, so this gives me an opportunity to make it 200. It’s all destiny and I always believed in that. It’s not in my control, once I left captainship. Good to complete 200, but I don’t think it really matters.”
Read some of the of tweets which came as soon as the announcement of Dhoni leading the side was made public:
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 25, 2018
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) September 25, 2018
Surprise surprise. We have changes in the Indian Team and MS Dhoni walks out to for the toss for the 200th time.
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) September 25, 2018
#INDvAFG: MS Dhoni captaining India after two years against Afghanistan.
— ABP News (@abpnewstv) September 25, 2018