Opener KL Rahul is captaining India in place of regular captain Rohit Sharma as Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bowl first in a dead-rubber of Super Four stage in Asia Cup 2022 at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.
Both India and Afghanistan are looking to sign off from Asia Cup 2022 on a high after crashing out of contention for the final. Both teams won their matches in the group stages. But then, they lost both of their two matches in the Super Four stage.
On Wednesday, Pakistan got a breath-taking one-wicket win over Afghanistan at Sharjah, which meant the Babar Azam-led side got themselves into the final against Sri Lanka on Sunday, knocking India and Afghanistan out of the competition.
"Left the ground straight after the team talk, had a green tea and then took some sleeping pills. It was a tough night. We have played well in the tournament; we could have won the last two games. We'll try our best to play good cricket against a big team in world cricket. Hopefully it'll be another good performance," said Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi after winning the toss.
India, on the other hand, have made three changes to their playing eleven from the six-wicket loss to Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Apart from Rohit, pace all-rounder Hardik Pandya and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal too miss out. Replacing the trio in the eleven are Dinesh Karthik, Deepak Chahar and Axar Patel.
"We wanted to bat first. We want to challenge ourselves as a batting unit. Rohit wants to take a break, playing back-to-back is not easy in these conditions. Even coming into this tournament, we had the T20 World Cup in mind. It's a good learning for us to play such a tournament before the World Cup. We have learnt a few things from the losses," stated Rahul.
India: KL Rahul (captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicketkeeper), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (captain), Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad Malik and Fazalhaq Farooqi