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T20 World Cup: Kohli's India have only pride to play for against Namibia (Preview)

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Dubai, Nov 7 (IANS) Already out of the semi-final contention, outgoing captain Virat Kohli will aim to win and finish India’s disappointing T20 World Cup campaign on a positive note as they face Namibia in their final Super 12 match at the Dubai International Stadium, here on Monday.

New Zealand’s victory over Afghanistan earlier in the day ended India’s faint hopes of making the semi-finals. India’s league-stage exit is their poorest performance in an ICC event since 2012 and their last outing marks Kohli’s final game as T20I captain. The game against Namibia will also see Ravi Shastri wear the head coach’s hat for one final time.

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This is the first time since the T20 World Cup of 2012 that India have exited an ICC tournament before the knockouts.

India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun, at a pre-match press conference on Sunday, ahead of the game against Namibia, didn’t sound too positive.

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“We are backing Afghanistan to do well in this tournament. But again, in sport, sport is all about ups and downs, and you need to accept and move on. You need to give out your best at any point in time. It was the entire team and they were to do well in the series but that was not so,” said Arun.

However, the Indian cricket team, who suffered crushing defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand in their first two super 12 matches, will look to win against Nambia and give a fitting farewell to skipper Kohli and coach Shastri.

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The team can give chance to leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who hasn’t played a game till now in the ongoing tournament. Ishan Kishan, who played as an opener against the Black Caps, can also get another chance.

On the other hand, Namibia have managed to beat only Scotland so far in their Super 12 engagements after making the tournament proper for the first time in the T20 format.

Monday will also bring down the curtains on Namibia’s roller-coaster ride and they would like to punch above their weight.

The Gerhard Erasmus-led team has been heavily reliant on its pacers, with three of their four best performers in the Super 12s being left-arm quicks. Ruben Trumpelmann could particularly give trouble to India’s openers if there’s some swing on offer for him.

This will be also India’s first T20I encounter against Namibia. The only other time they faced each other was in the 50-over World Cup of 2003.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, Shardul Thakur

Namibia: Gerhard Erasmus (c), Stephen Baard, Karl Birkenstock. Michau du Preez, Jan Frylinck, Zane Green, Nicol Lofie-Eaton, Bernard Scholtz, Ben Shikongo, JJ Smit, Ruben Trumpelmann, Michael van Lingen, David Wiese, Craig Williams and Pikky Ya France.

–IANS

avn/bsk

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