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India V Afghanistan: Cricket World Cup – Live

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10th over: Afghanistan 48-1 (Gurbaz 20, Rahmat 4) Shardul Thakur into the attack, under a bit of pressure given he’s been included instead of the genius Ravi Ashwin … and after three dots, Gurbaz picks the length of a short one, waiting before humping it over midwicket for six! He caught that beautifully! Those are the only runs off the over, and this is developing into a really fun match.

9th over: Afghanistan 42-1 (Gurbaz 14, Rahmat 4) Hardik replaces Bumrah and is quickly driven to deep backward point for four. A no-ball follows, and this is shaping up nicely.

“Love how Indian commentators claim Bumrah is the ‘best white ball bowler in the World’,’ emails Jerry Clode. “Last tour to New Zealand, he did not get one wicket.”

I still think I’d pick him ahead of every other bowler in the world, though. No one is brilliant all of the time, but I’m not sure anyone is brilliant as often as he is or, more importantly, as reliably excellent.

8th over: Afghanistan 37-1 (Gurbaz 10, Rahmat 4) Gurbaz turns away Siraj’s first ball one to deep backward square and I notice the bowler is wearing a t-short under his strip – perhaps he’s trying to Derartu Tulu the batters into fearing his superhuman capacity to tolerate heat. Oh, and this is interesting: we now see footage of him picking the ball and, rather than looking to see how proud its seam is, he flicks it up to see how straight it stays. For all the good it’s doing him, a full one given every chance to swing leaned into by Rahmat who drives through cover for four.

7th over: Afghanistan 32-1 (Gurbaz 9, Rahmat 0) Two dots end the over. On Bumrah, he benefits from that strange quirk of bowling: those who do it to technical perfection – like, say, Brett Lee and Michael Holding – are harder to face than those with a messy, ball-hiding style – like, say, Wasim and Bumrah.

WICKET! Zadran I c Rahul b Bumrah 22 (Afghanistan 32-1)Another boomer from Bumrah! He hurls down full and straight, cramping Zadran for length and width, and the batter barely has time to move before edging behind.

Jasprit Bumrah high-fives withVirat Kohli. Photograph: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images7th over: Afghanistan 32-0 (Gurbaz 9, Zadran I 22) Zadran tries a cut and instead edges hard through where ssecond slip isn’t, a third four in five balls…

6th over: Afghanistan 28-0 (Gurbaz 9, Zadran I 18) Zadran takes one to cover, then Gurbaz gets himself going, stepping into a big stride that turns a full wobble-seamer into a half-volley; the ball flies away to the point fence. And have a look! Gurbaz stands and delivers, waiting for Siraj and barely moving feet to lamp through cover, on the up, for the second boundary-four of the over! That’s a terrific shot, and Afghanistan are coming…

5th over: Afghanistan 19-0 (Gurbaz 1, Zadran I 17) With the score ticking now, Rohit removes a slip, then Zadran waves a cross-bat at a wider one but without real intention, doing well to avoid nicking off. One off the over, an inside-edge to square leg, and I wonder if Rohit is thinking about a change.

“Why is Australia so low on your retirement tour list?” asks Steve Hoare. “As you say, there are nice places to go on holiday (eg. Sri Lanka) but surely the fire of an Ashes tour places it near the top? Or are you just too afraid of the depressing defeat?”

Ha! I should’ve said there are no bad options, but I guess my current frame of mind is looking for something different, rather than England with better weather and scenery.

4th over: Afghanistan 18-0 (Gurbaz 1, Zadran I 16) Zadran adds a single, and his side have made an acceptable start.

REVIEW! NOT OUT!The ball hit Zadran what looked right in front, on the back pad – I worried for him. But Michael Gough was at the bowler’s end which should’ve told me something, and though the ball was a goodun – a wobble-seamer that jagged in – it did too much and was missing leg.

4th over: Afghanistan 18-0 (Gurbaz 1, Zadran I 15) Zadran is strong off his legs and when Siraj strays straight, he’s flicked through midwicket for four; that’s very nicely timed. And fo mo follow in similar vein, another sent to the midwicket fence; that one wasn’t off the meat but still sped away. But what’s this?! Zadran misses, wears ball on pad punkt in front, and when the umpires reject the appeal, Rohit goes upstairs. It looks a good call to me…

3rd over: Afghanistan 6-0 (Gurbaz 0, Zadran I 5) Three dots, then Zadran drives to extra where Pandya dives to save the boundary as they run one. Two further singles follow – they’re milking him now! – which completes the over. Back to Bumrah, though, where is he in the list of bowlers you’d most hate to face? Obviously there are and have been plenty quicker, but few who’ve bowled as quickly at the stumps and therefore the body. Yes, I’m saying I’d sway or duck and watch Cuddly’s bouncers go by.

2nd over: Afghanistan 6-0 (Gurbaz 0, Zadran I 5) Mohammed Siraj opens from the other end and Zadran has a fiddle at a full one that leaves him; he misses, but that was close to the edge. Zadran, though, puts it away to drive one that doesn’t swing down the ground. Pandya should catch up with it, though the outfield is rapid but, on the slide, he flicks the ball up into his chest, sending it over the fence. Happy 30th birthday, Hardik! A single follows, edged with soft hands, and Afghanistan will be satisfied with their start.

1st over: Afghanistan 1-0 (Gurbaz 0, Zadran I 0) Gurbaz defends a heavy ball then lets one go, prior to missing a turn to leg; wide ball. Bumrah responds well, finding severe inswing and some movement off the seam; Gurbaz does well to wear it on the pad. On which point, is Bumrah the best bowler in the world, all formats considered? I think he might be, and given the pace and carry we saw in that first over, he’s going to be a factor in this match. Of course he is.

Ibrahim Zardan gets things moving for Afghanistan. Photograph: Manish Swarup/APWe’re not there, but one fine day we will be and in the meantime, we’re here. Off we go, Bumrah with the ball, Gurbaz and Zadran I waiting for him. Good luck, old mates.

The ground isn’t full, but it’s got a fair few in and is, I think, filling up. It’s loud.

And anthem time.

A moment of silence to reflect on the Afghanistan earthquakes. Godspeed, people.

Here come the teams!

So what’s the order of preference for OBO Retirement Tours? As things stand now I’m going:

India for a World Cup

India Test


Sri Lanka

South Africa

New Zealand

West Indies




So how will this match go? We’re told today’s track isn’t the belter we had here last week, which should help Afghanistan. They’re not likely to set a monster, but if they can get themselves competitive with something above 250, if their spinners put the strangle on, they can make a match of his.

Teams!India: Sharma (c), Kishan, Kohli, Iyer, Rahul (wk) Pandya, Jadeja, Thakur, Yadav, bumrah, Siraj.

Afghanistan: Gurbaz (wk), Zadran I, Shah, Shahidi (c), Nabi, Zadran N, Omarzai, Khan, Ur Rahman, Farooqi, Ul-Haq.

Afghanistan win the toss and will bat!Rohit sends the coin miles then Hashmatullah Shahidi tells Ravi Shastri that he fancies his team with the bat despite a poor performance against Bangladesh, as it’s a great track; his team are unchanged. India, meanwhile, would’ve fielded first and have great confidence following their first match – in particular, Rohit praises the batting of KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, and otherwise, Shardul Thakur replaces Ravi Ashwin.

Here comes the toss…

The last match here – in Delhi, not my north London box-room – was a run-fest, South Africa making 428-5 and Sri Lanka 326. If India win the toss and bat, we could see something sub sub sub substantial; if Afghanistan do, they might fancy taking first knock to try and put the hosts under pressure.

Breaking: as per Cricinfo, it’s hot in Delhi. Who knew?

PreambleLike all normal people, I spend significant quantities of time debating in what order I’m going to do England’s overseas tours – when, of course, my OBO digs allow me to retire a rich man. Generally, this list comprises Test serieseseses – a bit of Caribbean beach-fun here, some Saffer safari there – but increasingly, I’m thinking that nothing can compare to following India through an Indian World Cup.

When we go on sporting trips, what we’re looking for, most of all, is intensity. Sure, it’s nice to have a nice holiday, but we don’t need cricket for that; what the game brings that’s different is context, and 1.4 billion people all fanatically obsessed by the same, self-contained wonder, gives this thing of ours as much weight at it can possibly bear. Nothing in the game matters more; nothing in the game even comes close.

India started the tournament nicely, walloping Australia, while Afghanistan took a hiding off Bangladesh; chances are, something similar happens today. Limited-overs cricket, though, allows for one serious performance to define a match, likewise one major choke, and given the pressure under which India exist, both options are possible. But even if today goes as expected and ends in a straightforward win for the tournament favourites, the fact remains: what we’re about to enjoy is the greatest event currently happening on this awful, wonderful planet of ours, so let’s wade right in.

Play: 2.30am local, 9.30am BST

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