Gritty Afghans Up Last as India Look to Make Amends

Published: 05th March 2014 03:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th March 2014 03:27 AM   |  A+A-

Three papers over and in two they got red mark. That is India’s report card in the Asia Cup. As they play the fighting Afghanistan in their final league match on Wednesday, they might think of the missed chances against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. But with Afghanistan intent on giving a fight, India need to be guarded.

AfgVsInd.JPGIt is a learning curve for Virat Kohli in the absence of regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. As Kohli himself pointed out, they are making mistakes regularly which have to be corrected. Two or three mistakes are unpardonable in international cricket.

“That is one thing we have to improve on because there’s quite a bit of inexperience in batting and bowling. People learn from mistakes and I hope in the coming games, we don’t repeat these mistakes and play more smartly,” he said.

Although a few players are inexperienced, the tough matches should stand them in good stead in the future. There was veiled criticism by Kohli on some of the players. “The players need to learn from the mistakes and be smart about their cricket. I know they are very intelligent and capable cricketers — that’s why they are playing for India. Sometimes in international cricket you get bogged down in different situations and tend to make mistakes. But that’s how you learn. The span of making one mistake and the second one should be long enough for you to be a potentially good player for the country,” he said. A point well made by a young captain.

It will be a big day for Afghanistan as they play their first ODI against India. They did lock horns against the giants in the World T20 in 2012. Having stunned Bangladesh, they would like to show they mean business, although they misfired badly against Sri Lanka.

“They are a good young team and obviously, they are going to come tough on us. They stay in the tournament, or get out of the tournament, doesn’t really matter to them. They have to win against us. That’s very important for them,” said assistant coach Kabir Khan.

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