India A and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid feel that Afghanistan will be India’s biggest threat in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 at the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Meanwhile, India have dominated the proceedings so far in this competition. After a hard fought win against Hong Kong, the men in blues have defeated Pakistan twice and Bangladesh once. They have restricted their opponents with subpar totals and then chased them with utmost ease.
Last night, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were in ruthless form as India romped to a nine-wicket win over Pakistan. Set 238 for victory, Dhawan (114 off 100) and Sharma (111* off 119) each hit imperious centuries as India reached their target with 63 balls to spare.
( MUST READ – Top run scorers of Asia Cup 2018 )
Rohit Sharma got two opportunities early on, but since then the duo rarely looked troubled against a wilting Pakistan attack. They shared an opening stand of 210 runs with Dhawan being the main aggressor hitting 16 boundaries and two sixes. It took a run out to finally break the partnership, Shoaib Malik making the most of a mix up to send Dhawan on his way. Rohit reached his century soon after to saw the match through to its conclusion.
Previously, Pakistan’s total of 237 for 7 looked below par, however, it was not possible without a 107-run stand between Shoaib Malik (78 off 90) and captain Sarfraz Ahmed (44 off 66). Some disciplined Indian bowling had reduced Pakistan to 58 for 3 with the spinners coming to the forefront.
Although Sarfraz and Shoaib tried to post a good total, it wasn’t enough for the bowlers to defend. Speaking on the same line, Rahul Dravid admitted that Pakistan is not a threat to India. However, he feels Afghanistan can pose some tough challenges against the men in blues.
“Afghanistan is doing well, I don’t know why we are only focusing on Pakistan. Look at their performance, Afghanistan are also a force to reckon with,” said Dravid.
Dravid urged the Rohit Sharma-led Indian side to focus on other teams rather than focusing too much on Pakistan.
“If I was in the team I would not just be focusing on Pakistan. We are playing very good white ball cricket but we have to be careful of other teams too,” Dravid said.
India will meet Afghanistan on September 25 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.