Sunil Gavaskar labelled Afghanistan as a “dangerous” team, ahead of India’s T20 World Cup 2021 Super 12s face-off in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, November 3. Gavaskar further believed that Ravichandran Ashwin could be a good addition in India’s XI, even if it means going in with three spinners.
India, after facing two back-to-back defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand respectively, will take on Afghanistan in their third Super 12s match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Afghanistan meanwhile, outplayed Scotland and Namibia, and ran Pakistan close before being undone by Asif Ali’s brilliance.
The Mohammad Nabi led side is better placed than India in race to the semi-finals, with their current Group 2 standing and an impressive net run-rate (NRR) of +3.097. Given their fearless brand of cricket and the quality of spinners they possess, Sunil Gavaskar marked them as tough opponents for Virat Kohli’s men.
"They are exceptionally dangerous. They are a team that is unafraid to play their shots,” Gavaskar told India Today. “They have got mystery spinners. And Indian batsmen in recent times have shown a certain vulnerability when it comes to playing spin, especially back of the hand deliveries. I think they are a banana peel opponent and India should be wary of playing against them."
"A top-class spinner like R Ashwin, it doesn't make any difference whether he is bowling to a right-hander or a left-hander,” Gavaskar said. “Having a look at the number of mystery spinners that Afghanistan themselves have, look at someone like Mujeeb and some of the others who they don't play in the XI, they have a plethora of all these mystery spinners.
"Also, there is no harm in thinking of going with 3 spinners also. And maybe not have somebody like Sharul Thakur or Mohammed Shami. Go in with 2 seamers and 3 spinners because if Hardik can come in and 2 overs of medium pace, you will still have 3 medium pacers in the team.
"So it might be easy for them to pick someone like a Varun Chakravarthy. So definitely, I would look at someone like R Ashwin. If at all, they are looking for someone who will slow the pace down, they can look at Rahul Chahar."