England vs Afghanistan
I have already given out almost all information and analysis about this game in my last article but just to reiterate. The Kotla track is known to be sluggish and does assist spin. England are not good players of spin and Afghanistan would like to catch them off guard on that front. Nabi, Rashid Khan and Shenwari are all capable of troubling the Englishmen. England will have to come out of the ‘Wankhede mode’ in order to successfully negotiate the Afghan challenge on a tough pitch.
So, according to my initial team setup, I have Root, Nabi, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali in my team for this game. Considering that the Delhi pitch hasn’t been used in a long time, I have just gone in with 4 players and have relied on the traditional Kotla pitch behavior to select players for this game.
Root is England’s most technically sound batsmen and is a good player of spin. The other English batsmen in the top 4 are not that reliable and hence I leave them out for this one.
Adil Rashid is a brilliant T20 bowler and he bowled beautifully at the Wankhede. You can only imagine his impact on a pitch that will assist his bowling.
Mohammad Nabi is Afghanistan’s best player and gives me the double scoring option. When the South African batsmen were going berserk, he was the one who put a break on the scoring and also chipped in with a couple of wickets.
Moeen Ali has grown a lot as a spin bowler and has constantly delivered for his captain. And on a pitch that assists spinners, I find it safer to go with the bowlers than the batsmen.
I omit all Afghanistan batsmen because they haven’t ever played on a slow Delhi turner and I don’t expect any of them to do anything of note. Mohammad Shehzad did fire on all cylinders in Wankhede but that was a flat road(pitch). Don’t expect him to replicate that performance in Delhi.
The Afghan fast bowlers haven’t been great all throughout the tournament and to deliver on a pitch that doesn’t offer much assistance to them would be a lot to expect.
Hales, Roy and Morgan are batsmen who like the ball coming onto their bat and would find stroke play really difficult in Delhi. I don’t expect any of them to do anything of note or anything that could seriously hurt you if you don’t pick them for this game.
The England seam attack has been rubbish to say the least. I know the Wankhede pitch did not offer much to the bowlers but their radar just wasn’t correct and they were spraying the ball all around. I don’t expect that to change so soon.
Captain for this game: Adil Rashid
On a slow turning track, I expect him to wreak havoc.
India vs Bangladesh
Transfers out: Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Mohammad Nabi
Transfers in: Shakib Al Hasan, Rohit Sharma, Sabbir Rehman
Bangladesh almost pulled of a win against Australia but thanks to their sloppy fielding they are now in a position where they have to win both their remaining games and also depend on other results to have any chance of making it to the semi finals.
Also, everything is not well in the Bangladesh camp because of Taskin and Sunny getting banned due to their bowling actions. But they will be boosted by the return of Mustafizur Rehman , who outwitted the Indian batsmen with his cleaver off cutters a few months back.
India on the other hand are coming off a good win against arch rivals Pakistan and would want to get a healthy win tomorrow in order to improve their net run rate.
The Bangalore pitch was on the slow side and did offer a lot of purchase to the spin bowlers. Vandersay and Badree produced to excellent spells of spin bowling at the Chinnaswamy and I expect the spinners to play a huge role tomorrow as well.
I already have Virat Kohli in my side for this game.
Now, Bangladesh play twice in the space of four games and that tempts me to bring in at least two Bangladesh players for this game.
The first and the most obvious choice would be Shakib Al Hasan. He picked up 3 wickets in the game against Australia at the same ground and he has been amongst the runs too. You just can’t leave him out.
Now the other choices could be Mustafizur, Mahumudullah, Sabbir Rehman and maybe Al Amin Hossain.
I really want to get in Rohit Sharma for this game (I’ll give my reasons later). And thus in order to accommodate him I need to get a Bangladesh player who is worth 70 k or less and hence I go with Sabbir Rehman. He bats in the top 3 and bowls at least 2 overs of spin. He might even go onto bowl 4 overs in both the upcoming games as Bangladesh play their games on spin friendly wickets (Bangalore and Kolkata)
The reason I go with Rohit for this game is because he has an excellent record against Bangladesh. In the recently concluded Asia Cup too he scored a brilliant 81 against them. Also, according to the law of averages I expect him to score big tomorrow. Get him in because you wouldn’t want to miss out on a Rohit Sharma special!
I leave out Ashwin because of the cost constraint. And I also believe that teams have developed this defensive approach against Ashwin and try to play him out on most occasions. I believe he can at max chip in with two wickets. I am ready to take that risk!
I opt against going for Raina because of the cost constraint and because of his abysmal form. Bumrah could be a good pick but I would rather save the transfer at this stage.
Captain for this game: Virat Kohli
Happy team picking!