Probuddha Bhattacharjee ∙ Sep 9 2022, 9:00 AM | 4 Min Read

Asia Cup 2022, IND vs AFG: A tale of redemptions

image-l7tfsn8xIndia thrashed Afghanistan by 101 runs in the Super Four stage of Asia Cup 2022 (PC: Twitter)

India faced Afghanistan in the 5th match of the Super Four of Asia Cup 2022 at the Dubai International Stadium. Although the match had little significance to the tournament, India will be taking lot of positives from it as they registered a huge win by 101 runs.

India was put to bat first by Mohammad Nabi and in absence of Rohit Sharma, it was Virat Kohli who came out to open the Indian innings with KL Rahul. In the next one and a half hour the fans witnessed a vintage Kohli knock. 

To the relief of 'Viratians' and the Indian fans, Kohli brought up his 71st international century after a gap of 83 international innings and 1019 days. He scored 122* runs off 61 deliveries and carried his bat through the innings. After a lot of criticism for his 2.5 years dry run , it was the redemption for 'The King'.

But that was not the end of tale for the day. After two matches where he failed his team Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed his class in the match. In the second innings of the match he picked up 5 wickets conceding just 4 runs from his 4 overs. 

'The King' reclaims his throne

First let us talk about the innings of Kohli. It was a masterclass to say the least. The shots came all throughout the ground. Let us look at the scoring areas for Kohli in the innings.

image-l7tf3jb8Virat Kohli's scoring areas

The scoring areas show that it was a typical Kohli knock, the only exception being fewer runs through the covers. His awesome wrist was at play and the evidence is the percentage of runs scored through the mid-wicket region. But a vintage Kohli would have plenty of runs down the ground and that is exactly what was seen in this innings, the mid-off region being the most productive of all. 

Building the innings

The knock from Kohli was constructed exactly the way you expect from him. He settled down at first and then tried to take on the bowling. But as a couple of wickets fell, he steadied the knock and then went berserk at the end. A look at his strike rate during the course of the innings will give us an idea. 

image-l7tfad0gPhase wise strike rate of Virat Kohli

Efficiency of Shots

The innings was decorated with beautiful shots all round the ground. But his favourite cover drive was missing among the most efficient shots played by him in the innings. Is it a conscious effort by Kohli to cut down on cover drive and play more percentage shots? Well, what goes on inside great minds is not for us to interpret, we can only be amazed by the art he displayed. Here is a look at his most efficient shots during the innings. 

image-l7tfeauwThe most efficient shots of Virat Kohli

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is not finished yet

While the Indian fans were still to come out of the awe of Virat's knock, Bhuvneshwar Kumar decided to silence his critics. He bowled one of the best spells in the history of T20I cricket. 

Let us take a look at Bhuvneshwar Kumar's pitch map. 

image-l7tfhp4gBhuvneshwar Kumar's pitch map

Now to have a better understanding of Bhuvi's plan during the innings let us analyse what variations he used and how they turned out. 

image-l7tfjalvVariations used by Bhuvneshwar Kumar

So, for Bhuvi the stock ball for the day was in-swing. As far as the length is concerned he tried to stick in and around the good length area while bowling in he channel around the 4th-5th stump. 

From the very beginning Bhuvneshwar got the ball to move and that brought about a boost in his confidence. We witnessed a completely different Bhuvneshwar Kumar from the last two matches. 


It was a clinical performance by India in the match. But a bit too late to have any effect on the tournament. But as they say 'better late than never', the match has given India some positives to work on ahead of the World Cup preparations.  How the team uses the lessons learned in this tournament will be answered with time. 

Also Read: Asia Cup 2022, IND vs AFG: Virat Kohli's 71st ton steals the show