Shardul Thakur’s unexpected inclusion in the playing XI, replacing R. Ashwin, has sparked fan reactions as many had anticipated Mohammad Shami’s selection for India’s World Cup match against Afghanistan.

In a surprising move, Shardul Thakur took the place of Ravichandran Ashwin in India’s playing XI for their 2023 World Cup clash against Afghanistan at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium on October 11. Ashwin found himself omitted after his 1/34 performance in the previous game against Australia, which India won by six wickets. This decision aimed to boost India’s pace attack and strengthen their batting lineup with the versatile all-rounder Thakur.

India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, confirmed the change at the toss, saying, “Ashwin misses out, Shardul Thakur comes in for him.” Despite Thakur’s recent wicketless performances against Australia, he has an impressive record, taking 19 wickets in 13 ODIs this year with an economy rate of 6.35.

Notably, the decision to include Shardul over Mohammed Shami sparked surprise and discussion among fans on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Afghanistan’s captain, Hasmatullah Shahidi, won the toss and chose to bat first in the ongoing match. Despite their previous loss to Bangladesh, Afghanistan maintained their playing XI. Shahidi expressed confidence in their bowling attack and the pitch, stating they aimed to make a strong batting statement.

On the other hand, India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, expressed a preference to chase due to the expected dew factor and stressed the need for improved bowling and batting performances.

India has an undefeated record against Afghanistan in all formats. Ravindra Jadeja boasts 7 ODI wickets against Afghanistan and 9 in Delhi. A showdown also awaits between Naveen-Ul-Haq and Virat Kohli, who last clashed during the IPL. India’s track record at Arun Jaitley Stadium is 13 wins and 7 losses in ODIs.

Last Updated on October 11, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter