'How is the pitch?' Rohit Sharma asks Jasprit Bumrah before India's Super 8 match against Afghanistan. His reply... | Crickit
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'How is the pitch?' Rohit Sharma asks Jasprit Bumrah before India's Super 8 match against Afghanistan. His reply...

Jun 18, 2024 04:54 PM IST

On Thursday, India will play their first match in the Super Eight stage of the World Cup, against Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval, in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Team India already reached Barbados on Monday after scripting an unbeaten run in the group stage of the 2024 T20 World Cup. They finished top of Group A after beating Ireland, Pakistan and the USA before their final game against Canada was washed out due to rain in Florida. On Thursday, June 20, India will play their first match in the Super Eight stage of the World Cup, against Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval, in Bridgetown, Barbados.

India are slated to face Afghanistan in T20 World Cup Super 8 match on June 20
India are slated to face Afghanistan in T20 World Cup Super 8 match on June 20

India played three full games so far in the World Cup, all in New York, where the drop-in pitch was subject to criticism. With the US leg over, focus now no shifts to the surfaces offered in the six venues in the Caribbean Island. 200, which was considered a par score in IPL 2024, has been breached only twice in the tournament, and only once in West Indies, in Barbados by Australia. Four of the remaining eight teams totals in five matches at the venue went past the 150-run mark.

Given that, it wasn't entirely surprising when India captain Rohit Sharma kept inquiring about the practice pitches in Barbados from his team members when he walked into the nets.

"Pitch kaisa hain (how is the pitch)?" he asked senior fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah who seemed to be pleased with the surfaces provided for training.

The pitch will play a key factor in deciding whether India would make any changes to their playing XI for the game against Afghanistan, who won three of their four group games to qualify for the playoffs. Their only loss came against the West Indies on Tuesday.

Ravindra Jadeja has not made a notable contribution in India's victories so far, neither in batting nor bowling department. In all fairness, the star all-rounder batted only once while he was not needed that much with the ball on the pace-friendly surfaces in New York. However, given India's reliance on Axar Patel, especially with the bat, India might bring in Kuldeep Yadav for the match against Afghanistan, given that the chinaman is expected to play a crucial role in spin-friendly Caribbean conditions. India could also replace him with with one of the fast bowlers - Arshdeep Singh or Mohammed Siraj.

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