There are mismatches and then there is this. A team who has been out of form and has plainly given up when they are against a stronger opponent is up against one of two undefeated teams and arguably the strongest-looking team in the tournament. Not only would this be the upset of the tournament if Afghanistan somehow won, it would probably be the biggest upset in World Cup history. More likely, this will be the most one-sided contest of the competition.
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Five Fearless Predictions:
(1) India will win easily
I feel like I just said that in the England vs Sri Lanka preview, but it is just as relevant here. India have so been perhaps a little less impressive than England while Sri Lanka have been better than Afghanistan – thanks to rain – so it kind of evens out. Not only would Afghanistan have to play out of their skins, and have India play the worst they have for years but Afghanistan would also need to get out of the depression they are currently in.
(2) Rohit Sharma will fire
Rohit Sharma likes an easy battle, and this is going to be the easiest one yet. He might even score a double century. Heck, he might even better his world record highest score. That’s the kind of player he is. He’s a batting bully. And Afghanistan are looking like being bullying victims here.
(3) Jasprit Bumrah will terrorise
He’s been fairly good so far but is yet to fully hit his straps and isn’t up there with the best bowlers in the tournament so far, but in this match he could launch into another gear, and start to threaten the likes of Mohammad Amir, Jofra Archer, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc for the title of best bowler in the tournament. If he’s going to launch, this is when he’s going to do it.
(4) Rashid Khan will at least do better than last match
While I did predict Rashid Khan to fail against England, I didn’t think he’d fail that badly, and so I am going to predict him to do better against India. He might even take a wicket or three. He is actually a really good bowler with a lot of experience and he rarely does badly. He’s not out of form at all, he’s just depressed like his whole team are.
(5) Afghanistan won’t last 50 overs
Whether they bat first or last, Afghanistan are going to be bowled out here. Hopefully India bat first so we can get a big score and some entertainment. I fear that if Afghanistan bat first then the match could be over very quickly.