New Delhi: The highly-anticipated clash at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi is set to be a cricket spectacle as India faces Afghanistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. The excitement is not only about the battle between these two teams but also the intriguing dynamic between Virat Kohli and Naveen Ul-Haq. Their fiery encounter during IPL 2023 has added an extra layer of excitement to this match, marking their first face-off since that incident. With this being the 9th match of the World Cup at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, both players are expected to feature in their respective teams’ starting line-ups.
This One Day International (ODI) tournament marks the final chapter in the 24-year-old Naveen Ul-Haq’s career. Naveen had already made it known that he would retire from the ODI format before the commencement of the 2023 World Cup. He mentioned that he intends to bid adieu to one-day cricket after this World Cup due to the demanding workload and recent injuries. His doctors and physiotherapists recommended that he shift his focus to the shorter format of the game to extend his career. To do so, he will have to transition away from the longer format and concentrate on T20 cricket.
Naveen Ul-Haq’s ODI Journey
Naveen Ul-Haq has participated in just eight ODI matches for Afghanistan up to this point. In these games, he has managed to secure 15 wickets with an average of 25.80. Surprisingly, he has not had the opportunity to play any ODI matches against India so far. Consequently, this match provides him with the chance to make his ODI debut against the Indian cricket team.
Leading up to their One Day International (ODI) World Cup match against India, Afghanistan’s captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi, exuded confidence in his team’s ability to contend with India’s spinners. Shahidi’s remarks arrived as Afghanistan readied itself to face the formidable Indian squad in the ODI World Cup.
During the Indian Premier League, when queried about the dispute between Virat Kohli and Afghan bowler Naveen Ul Haq, Shahidi emphasized, “India is like a second home for us. We’ve played extensively here, and the people of India hold great affection for the Afghan cricket team.” He went on to say, “On the cricket field, players can lose their temper at times. Instead of framing it as India versus Afghanistan, it should be understood as a natural part of the game, something that can happen with any player. It’s noteworthy that many of our players view Indian cricket legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid as their role models.”
The Arun Jaitley Stadium is renowned for hosting high-scoring matches, as exemplified in a previous World Cup encounter between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. With 27 One Day Internationals held at the venue, the average run tally is 237, making it favorable for both batsmen and spin bowlers.
India boasts a strong track record in Delhi, having secured victory in 13 out of 21 matches played. Kohli’s familiarity with this ground, given that it is his home stadium, may provide him with an advantage. Additionally, he is currently in exceptional form, with expectations of a significant innings from him. Kohli has notched 222 runs in seven matches at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, including a century and a half-century.
The predicted playing elevens for both teams are as follows:
India (Expected Playing Eleven)
Rohit Sharma (Captain)
KL Rahul (Wicketkeeper)
Afghanistan (Expected Playing Eleven)
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Wicketkeeper)
Hashmatullah Shahidi (Captain)
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
The weather in Delhi suggests the possibility of rain, which could affect the game’s outcome. With two competitive teams and the backdrop of their past IPL feud, this India vs. Afghanistan encounter promises to be a thrilling match for cricket enthusiasts.
Stay tuned for more updates and live coverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.