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India Squad for T20Is vs Afghanistan: Live Updates

India is gearing up for a thrilling three-match T20I series against Afghanistan, scheduled to begin on January 11. As fans eagerly await the announcement of India's squad, let's take a closer look at the latest updates and developments surrounding the team selection.

Delayed Squad Announcement Raises Speculations

The announcement of India's squad for the T20Is against Afghanistan has been delayed, leaving fans and experts speculating about the possible reasons behind the delay. According to a report, the management is taking its time to make a decision on the inclusion of veteran players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar had flown to South Africa to discuss the matter with the two veterans, and both players have expressed their availability. However, external factors and the involvement of BCCI secretary Jay Shah may influence the final decision.

Afghanistan Names a Strong Squad

In contrast, Afghanistan has wasted no time in announcing their 19-member squad for the series. Ibrahim Zadran will lead the team, while star players like Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, and Naveen-ul-Haq are also included. However, there is uncertainty surrounding the participation of their regular T20I captain Rashid Khan, who is recovering from back surgery. Despite being included in the squad, Rashid Khan might not feature in any of the matches.

The Rise of AfghanAtalan

ACB Chairman Mr. Mirwais Ashraf expressed his delight at Afghanistan's maiden tour to India, highlighting their growth as a team. He mentioned that AfghanAtalan is no longer considered underdogs and has performed exceptionally well in recent times. The upcoming series against India presents a highly competitive opportunity for them to showcase their skills against the top-ranked side in the world.

Changes in Afghanistan Team

Afghanistan's squad for the series against India sees the return of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who missed the previous T20I series against UAE. Ikram Alikhil, who was in the reserves against UAE, has been included as the backup wicketkeeper-batter. However, their regular T20I captain, Rashid Khan, may not feature in any of the games due to his ongoing recovery from back surgery. Ibrahim Zadran, who led Afghanistan to a series victory against UAE, will continue to lead the team against India.

With the squad announcements and rumors surrounding the Indian team, it's time to delve into some key aspects and players to watch out for in the upcoming series.

The Return of Kohli and Rohit

All eyes are on the potential return of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to the T20I team. Both players have been absent from T20I cricket since the 2022 T20 World Cup. However, reports suggest that they have made themselves available for selection against Afghanistan. Their inclusion would undoubtedly strengthen the Indian batting lineup and provide invaluable experience to the team.

Suryakumar Yadav's Absence

One unfortunate absence from the Indian squad will be Suryakumar Yadav. The talented T20I star is still recovering from an ankle injury sustained during the series against South Africa. While Yadav's absence is a blow to the team, it provides an opportunity for other players to step up and make their mark in the series.

The Leadership Dilemma

With Hardik Pandya ruled out of the series due to an ankle injury, the question arises as to who will lead the Indian team in his absence. Rohit Sharma, who has captained the team before, could potentially take up the captaincy once again. His experience and leadership skills would prove valuable, especially considering the upcoming T20 World Cup.

The Impressive Yashasvi Jaiswal

Yashasvi Jaiswal, the young and talented opener, is emerging as a reliable batting force for Team India. His consistent performances for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and impactful innings for the national team have caught the attention of selectors. Jaiswal is highly likely to find himself a place in the squad for the Afghanistan series and could be a key player in the T20 World Cup as well.

The Return of Rashid Khan

Although Rashid Khan's participation in the series is uncertain, his return to the team after recovering from back surgery would be a significant boost for Afghanistan. As one of the best spinners in the world, Rashid Khan's presence can create a challenging environment for the Indian batsmen and add depth to Afghanistan's bowling attack.

T20 World Cup Preparation

The three-match T20I series against Afghanistan holds great importance for both teams as they prepare for the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by the USA in June. With limited opportunities for T20Is before the marquee event, India and Afghanistan will be looking to fine-tune their strategies, test their combinations, and gain crucial match practice.

The Road to the T20 World Cup

Following the series against Afghanistan, Team India will face England in a five-match Test series at home. The Test series will provide an opportunity for players to showcase their skills and stake their claim for a spot in the T20 World Cup squad. The performances in both the Afghanistan series and the Test matches against England will play a crucial role in determining the final composition of the Indian team for the World Cup.

T20 World Cup Schedule

The schedule for the T20 World Cup 2024 was recently announced, revealing an exciting lineup of matches to be played across various venues in the West Indies and the USA. India has been placed in a relatively easy group, alongside Ireland, USA, and Canada. Their campaign will kick off on June 5 against Ireland, followed by highly anticipated matches against Pakistan, USA, and Canada.

Kohli and Rohit's Impact

Former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has expressed confidence in Virat Kohli's limited-overs batting prowess, highlighting his outstanding form in recent years. With his exceptional performances in the 2023 World Cup, where he scored 750 runs with three centuries, Kohli remains a vital asset to the Indian team. Similarly, Rohit Sharma's consistent run-scoring abilities and leadership qualities make him a valuable asset in the T20 format. Their presence in the team will undoubtedly boost India's chances in the T20 World Cup.

The Pant Conundrum

Another player to watch out for is Rishabh Pant, whose inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad has been a topic of discussion. Sanjay Manjrekar believes that Pant would secure a place in the team if he has a full IPL season and remains fit. Pant's aggressive style of play and ability to change the game single-handedly make him a valuable asset in the T20 format.

As fans eagerly await the squad announcement, these key factors and players will shape the narrative of the upcoming series against Afghanistan and the journey towards the T20 World Cup. Stay tuned for more updates and exciting cricket action ahead.

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