Southampton, June 21: Having lost each of their five completed games so far, Afghanistan face an uphill challenge as they take on India in their sixth match of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 here on Saturday.
India's progress at the World Cup has been ascending. They have put on complete performances in each of their three completed games.
While the top-order has consistently given good starts, the bowlers, aided by some good fielding, have backed it up with disciplined performance. The team management, however, will be worried over their key players getting injured.
Mohammed Shami is likely to replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the playing XI against Afghanistan as the latter has been ruled out due to hamstring injury. There is some doubt over Vijay Shankar's inclusion too, who was in pain after being hit on his toes by a Jasprit Bumrah yorker, during India's training session on Wednesday.
Afghanistan have been unable to recreate the magic they did in the ICC Men's World Cup Qualifiers and Asia Cup last year, having faced five defeats in as many completed games so far.
Inconsistent bowling and dropped chances in the field cost them dearly against England, as they were set a daunting target of 398 by the hosts. The batsmen, having batted for the full 50-overs at Old Trafford, will have to do so again, in order to pose any challenge to a strong Indian side.