Afghanistan v India T20 World Cup Tips: Take a swing with Pant

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant is an in-play wager

Ed Hawkins says India are done for if they bat first in Abu Dhabi in the must-win game against Afghanistan on Wednesday...

"Pant's southpaw style make shim less vulnerable to Rashid Khan, who can struggle against that sort of batter. We suggest an in-play wager from 12s"

(0.5pt) Back Rishabh Pant top India bat in-play from 13.012/1

Afghanistan v India
Wednesday, 15:00
Live on Sky Sports

Afghanistan brainless

Afghanistan, as this report is filed, currently stand at No 1 position for boundary percentage with the bat and No 1 for lowest boundary percentage with the ball. On those numbers they should walk the rest of the tournament.

Yet qualification is far from certain. They are in a dog fight and it is arguable that, with those numbers in mind, they are dangerously close to underachieving through nothing more than brainless decision making.

Had they bowled second - as most switched-on captains have been doing given the huge chase bias - they would have probably beaten Pakistan. There is no guarantee they have learned their lesson.

Probable XI: Zazai, Shahzad, Gurbaz, Janat, Zadran, Nabi, Gulbadin, Rashid, Mujeeb, Has-san, Naveen

India under pressure

Virat Kohli has successfully brought the RCB vibe to India's T20 campaign. They have lost two on the spin and players are fearful of their places.

Sky Yadav and Bhuv Kumar have already been dropped. KL Rahul, scores of 18 and 3 so far, is now vulnerable as India look to bring Rohit Sharma back to the opening fold after a fudge against New Zealand. Spinner Varun Chakravarthy is another who could lose his spot.

India have actually lost their last four in T20, their worst run of results since 2009. Ignoring the domestic doom mongering, no-one truly believes India are not one of the four best sides in the world. They have lost twice because they have lost two tosses. If they win one here, they win the game. But it is unlikely to be enough for qualification.

Possible XI Rohit, Kishan, Kohli, Yadav, Pant, Hardik, Jadeja, Thakur, Ashwin, Shami, Bumrah.

Pitch report

There's a 69% toss bias in favour of the chaser in the tournament and Abu Dhabi has been no different. The flip is the most important part of the game.

Runs have not been easy to come by at AD, which was a decent batting track in the IPL. But these wickets are not going to get any better given the vast amount of cricket played in such a short time. The average first-innings score is 131.

With that in mind, shorting India at a probable 160 batting first could well prove to be a more than solid wager against an excellent bowling attack.

Afghanistan to win chase

India are 1.292/7 and Afghanistan 3.9. It's a whopping gulf which, in truth, doesn't exist. Afghanistan are a crack unit. For example, they have almost nine points on India on boundary percentage.

To that end there is early value on Afghanistan for either the most fours or the most sixes at 13/8 and 6/4.

Otherwise the standout value is Afghanistan to win batting second. But don't be surprised if they bat first in line with their bizarre fetish. This column has already advised Afghanistan to qualify at 7/2.

Tops value on Pant

Kishan looks chunky at 4/1 because he could well hold on to his opening berth. Rishabh Pant is not a bad wager either at 8s because his southpaw style make shim less vulnerable to Rashid Khan, who can struggle against that sort of batter. We suggest an in-play wager from 12s.

For Afghanistan Hazratullah Zazai has a tendency to struggle against the the best of the best in pacers. Jasprit Bumrah should fancy pinning him early and selling his runs at 19.5 with Sportsbook could be a bet at 4/5.

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Ed Hawkins P-L

2021: +23
2020: +5.91
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l

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