India U23 v Afghanistan U23
07th December, Friday, 09:45 IST
Colombo Cricket Club Ground, Colombo
The Indian U23 team will kick-start their ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2018 with their opening game against Afghanistan U23, which will prove to be an acid test for the youngsters, who will also be gunning for a spot at the senior level. With the likes of Deepak Hooda and Nitish Rana in the team, the Indian team led by Jayant Yadav looks a strong bunch.
Najibullah Zadran, who has already represented his country at the highest level will be leading his team in this game and Afghanistan will rely on the likes of mystery spinner Zahir Khan and Karim Janat to test the Indians.
Head to Head:
Won by India U23: 0
Won by Afghanistan U23: 1
Probable Starting XI:
Team: Jayant Yadav (Captain), Ankush Bains, Atharva Taide, Deepak Hooda, Nitish Rana, Himmat Singh, Siddharth Desai, Prasidh Krishna, Mayank Markande, Shivam Mavi, Atit Sheth.
Team: Najibullah Zadran (Captain), Ihsanullah Janat, Nasir Jamal, Karim Janat, Shahidullah Kamal, Ibrahim Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil, Zia-ur-Rehman, Qais Ahmad, Zahir Khan, Wafadar.
My dream XI
Ankush Bains has evolved as one of the brightest keeper-batsmen prospects in the country and with some handy experience from the Deodhar Trophy, Bains will be a vital contributor.
Najibullah Zadran’s experience from the senior national team combined with Ihsanullah Janat’s mature display with the bat can serve as the perfect combination on the batting front for Afghanistan, while Atharva Taide’s exploits in an U-19 match in the same ground will give him the much-needed confidence. Deepak Hooda’s all-round skill can be expected to come to the fore as well.
16-year old Ibrahim Zadran was one of the success stories for Afghanistan in the 2018 Under-19 World Cup as he finished as their highest run-scorer and his form will be an important component of Afghanistan’s chances, while for the Indians, Nitish Rana’s explosiveness and ability to float around the batting order will provide the depth and maturity in the batting order.
The Indian U23 team has a plethora of bowling options but can be expected to start with the experience of Prasidh Krishna and Mayank Markande, both of whom performed well in the IPL. Shivam Mavi, who partnered Prasidh in the KKR setup can also prove to be a tough customer to handle with his pace. For Afghanistan, Zahir Khan’s mystery left-arm spin will hold the aces.
Captain and vice-captain: Nitish Rana and Deepak Hooda.
Alternatives: Deepak Hooda and Mayank Markande.
Player to watch out for: Nitish Rana
One of the best left-handers in the domestic circuit, Rana is capable to milking runs and threading gaps with ease while his ability to wield the long handle could also prove to be of great value in the game. Apart from his batting, Rana’s medium pace could also fetch him a few wickets, which makes him a vital player in the team.