India will take on Afghanistan in the 9th match of the Men’s World Cup ODI 2023 in Delhi on 11th October, Tuesday. The Men in Blue kicked off their campaign with a thrilling win against Australia, while Afghanistan is yet to open their account as they lost their opening match against Bangladesh. India and Afghanistan will play their first ODI match against each other since June 2019. Two sides played ODI only thrice, with Men in Blue leading 2-0. 

In the Men’s World Cup ODI, India and Afghanistan locked horns with each other only once. Their last encounter in the prestigious tournament was in 2019 when M Shami took a hat-trick to save the Men n Blue from defeat at the hands of Afghanistan. The upcoming group stage match of the Men’s World Cup is expected to be exciting as India will look for a winning streak while Afghanistan will aim to bounce back from the defeat in their opening match. 

5 Players To Watch Out For: 

1. KL Rahul (IND): KL Rahul proved his mettle once again as a middle-order in India’s opening match against Australia. He scored a brilliant unbeaten 97 off 115 balls to save the Men in Blue from the chaos of early batting collapse. India were 2/3 when Rahul walked out to bat and then formed a crucial 165-run partnership with V Kohli to help the team chase the target of 200 on a spinning track in Chennai. The 31-year-old sticks to a conservative batting approach and can change the gear depending on the situation of the game. Rahul is a crucial middle-order batsman alongside H Pandya and R Jadeja in this World Cup. Rahul will look to come up with goods again against Afghanistan in the upcoming match. 

2. R Gurbaz (AFG): R Gurbaz is one of the crucial top-order batsmen for Afghanistan in the Men’s World Cup. The 21-year-old had a decent outing in the opening match against Bangladesh, scoring 47 off 62 balls at a strike rate of 75.81. But, Afghanistan was bundled out for 156 and eventually lost the match by six wickets. R Gurbaz is an attacking batsman who can provide a quick start in the powerplay (1-10 overs). He also can take up the responsibility on his shoulder to stabilize the top order of the batting line-up. Gurbaz is currently a reliable batter for Afghanistan. When he is in his rhythm, R Gurbaz can be a potent threat to India’s bowling line-up. 

3. V Kohli (IND): V Kohli was one of the star batters in India’s crucial win against Australia. The 34-year-old scored a gritty knock of 85 off 116 balls at a strike rate of 73.28. Also, Kohli’s crucial partnership with KL Rahul turned the tables for India and helped the team to clinch victory in the opening match of the tournament. Kohli adjusted his game according to the situation of the game rather than sticking to his natural attacking style of play. Kohli has been one of India’s batting mainstays in ODIs over the last decade and a half and contributed significantly to the team’s success. V Kohli will look to produce an impactful performance again in the upcoming match against Afghanistan. 

4. R Khan (AFG): R Khan is one of the best spinners in the world at the moment. He has always been a threat to the opposition’s batting line-up with his spin bowling. However, in the opening match against Bangladesh, he failed to take any wickets while conceding 48 runs in 9 overs. Afghanistan often relies on R Khan for spin bowling as he has the ability to turn the game on his head. Khan has a good amount of experience bowling in Indian conditions due to his participation in the Indian cricket league. Also, R Khan can be a key player for his team in the spin-friendly track in Delhi. R Khan can be a potential threat to India’s batting line-up and can provide his team with a three-dimensional performance in an important clash. 

5. K Yadav (IND): K Yadav was one of the instrumental players in India’s thrilling win against Australia. He was brilliant with the ball, scalping two wickets of D Warner and G Maxwell, and conceded just 42 runs at an economy rate of 4.20 in his 10 overs quota. The 28-year-old provided good support to R Jadeja who ended up taking three wickets. K Yadav has been one of the most reliable spinners for India in ODIs and has the ability to bowl in different variations. Yadav can be a crucial bowler for India against Afghanistan as the spin-friendly pitch in Delhi is likely to assist him. K Yadav will look to pose a threat to Afghanistan’s bowling line-up. 

Predicted Playing XI 

IND: R Sharma (C), I Kishan, V Kohli, S Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), H Pandya (VC), R Jadeja, R Ashwin, K Yadav, J Bumrah, M Siraj, 

AFG: R Gurbaz (WK), I Zadran, R Shah, H Shahidi (C), N Zadran, M Nabi, A Omarzai, R Khan, M ul Rahman, N ul Haq, F Farooqui, 

Fantasy Playing XI Picks 

Wicketkeeper: KL Rahul 

Batsmen: R Gurbaz, R Sharma, V Kohli, R Shah, 

All-rounders: H Pandya, R Jadeja, 
Bowlers: R Khan, K Yadav, J Bumrah, F Farooqui