Virat Kohli top-scored for the Indians with 67.

ICC World Cup India struggles to reach 224 against disciplined Afghanistan attackFacebook / ICC World Cup
Cricket WC 2019 CWC 2019 Saturday, June 22, 2019 - 18:40

India huffed and puffed its way to reach 224/8 in their allotted 50 overs in the World Cup match against Afghanistan at the Rose Bowl, Southampton on Saturday. 

The Indian batsmen struggled against some disciplined bowling by Afghanistan. Virat Kohli top-scored for the Indians with 67. 

The Indian innings got off to a poor start after opener Rohit Sharma, India's top-scorer in the tournament, was dismissed for 1 off 10 balls. 

Virat Kohli attempted to build partnerships with KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar but both fell cheaply after getting starts. 

Virat was dismissed for 67 at which point India was 135-4 in 30 overs. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav built a 50-run stand at a slow pace to take India closer to 200. However, Dhoni was dismissed for a sedate 28 off 52 balls with the score at 192. India added just 57 runs in 15 overs post Virat's dismissal. 

Even Hardik Pandya, who arrived at the crease in the 45th over, was unable to up the tempo of the innings. 

Earlier, India skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat first.

India made one change with Mohammed Shami coming in for the injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The Afghan side made two changes with Hazratullah Zazai and Aftab Alam coming in. 

Speaking at the toss, Kohli said: "Going to bat first. Looks like a really good wicket. Nice and hard. Beautiful day to play cricket. One forced change. Bhuvi out and Shami in. Vijay showed a lot of composure in the last game. Brings balance with bat and ball and he's good as anyone in the world in the field. Whether we're playing a team which is very strong or a team coming up the ranks, our mindset is the same. Can't take Afghanistan lightly. Dangerous side when they get in the groove. Can't take any team lightly in the World Cup. Focus is within our group, what we want to do."

India now has its task cut out in defending a modest score on a slow wicket. 

This is India's lowest score batting first in the tournament so far, having scored 336 in their previous game against Pakistan and 352 in the game against Australia. 

With IANS inputs

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