IND vs AFG: 1st T20I Preview – India’s World Cup preparations against Afghanistan begins today

India and Afghanistan will take on each other in the first T20I of the three-match T20I series on Thursday, January 11 at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. Notably, it will be the first-ever limited-over series between the two teams who have only faced off each other in multi-national tournaments before.

India has an upper hand over Afghanistan in T20Is. They have won four out of the five matches between the two teams. While one game has ended with no result. The upcoming series will be the last T20I assignment for India before the T20 World Cup 2024. Hence, players will look to give their best to make a strong case for their selection in the mega event.

The series will also mark the return of batting stalwarts Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. They will be returning to the shortest format in international cricket after 14 months. The duo last played in the T20 World Cup 2022 where India lost against England in the semi-final. However, Kohli has made himself unavailable for the first game for personal reasons.

The eyes will also be on Mujeeb ur Rahman who will be marking his return to the national side after his recent episode with the ACB relating to the revocation of NOCs for playing franchise-based leagues after he and Naveen ul Haq opted against the central contract to upset the board. Mujeeb will have the huge task of carrying the Afghanistan bowling attack in the absence of Rashid Khan. The leg spinner is out of the series with a back injury, having also missed the team’s 2-1 triumph over UAE recently.

Pitch Report

There have been a total of six T20Is played at the venue out of which four have been won by teams batting second. The average first innings score has been 182. The highest target chased has been 209 by Australia vs India in September 2022. Captain winning the toss is likely to bowl first keeping the record and the dew factor in mind.

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