Asia Cup: Super Four - India vs Afghanistan Preview

Cricket ball and bails on field

Afghanistan's narrow loss to Bangladesh in the second round of Super Four matches rendered this contest a deadrubber.

India have already secured progression to the Asia Cup final, while Afghanistan can no longer earn a place in the championship match.

India vs Afghanistan | Tuesday, 25 September | Dubai International Stadium | 13:30 

To Win Match     
India 21/100
Tie 35/1 
Afghanistan 7/2

India
India will be fairly happy with how they have played throughout this tournament - and will be reasonably confident in their team for the final, but wholesale changes are unlikely.

The number-one ranked ODI side should look to maintain continuity in their penultimate match of this brief tournament.

India are still yet to really solve any of the middle-order conundrums that plagued the selectors heading into the tournament, because the openers have played so well. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have lit up a low-scoring tournament and kept up their strike-rates despite the slow pitches. Lokesh Rahul and Ambati Rayudu have occupied spots three and four, respectively, but neither has set the world on fire, meaning India are still no closer to finding that missing middle-order man in their ideal ODI XI.

Ravindra Jadeja has done his chances of making the World Cup squad no harm with some excellent performances since coming in for Axar Patel. Jadeja had not played an ODI for over a year, but had a quiet time during India's Test series loss to England, playing just one match.

Afghanistan
Afghanistan have done themselves proud, showing that they can share a stage with Asia's cricket giants without being overawed.

Narrow losses to Pakistan and then Bangladesh mean that, even if they beat India, either one of those sides or both (in the event of a tie) will end with a superior Super Four points tally.

Hashmatullah Shahidi has been the find of the tournament for Afghanistan - and he heads into the final match behind only the India openers Dhawan and Rohit.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan have been kept out of the wickets column, to some extent, but have both proven hard to get away.

A win over India would mean more to Afghanistan than the Asia Cup title itself - and even though the match is insignificant in terms of the outcome of the event, they will not lack motivation.

Verdict: India 21/100
India have been too good for all-comers in this tournament so far - and Afghanistan will need a massive effort just to challenge. Big value here.

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