India will face Afghanistan in the second T20I of the three match series on Sunday. The IND vs AFG match will be played at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore from 7 PM IST onwards.

India had won the first game at Mohali by six wickets to take a 1-0 lead. The hosts restricted Afghanistan to 158 for five and then returned to overhaul the target in 17.3 overs.

Shivam Dube anchored the chase with an unbeaten 40-ball 60, while Jitesh Sharma (31), Tilak Verma (26) and Shubman Gill (23) also chipped in with useful contributions.

Earlier, left-arm spinner Axar Patel was the most successful bowler for India, with figures of 2/23, while Mukesh Kumar bagged 2/33.

Players like Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar and Axar Patel will look to produce a defining effort against the Afghans to keep themselves within the selectors’ sight as the move to find a perfect squad for the T20 World Cup has gathered steam.

That India will not play another T20I series ahead of the marquee event in June increases the gravitas around their performance against Afghanistan.

Star batter Virat Kohli is available for the second match after skipping the first and is likely to replace Tilak Varma. The left-hander had made an excellent start to his T20I career last year, making 39, 51 and 49 not out against the West Indies in an away three-match series.

But since then, Varma has tapered off. The next 13 innings have produced only one more fifty, against a below-par Bangladesh in the Asian Games, with three 20-plus scores and one 30-plus knock dominating the rest of the outings.

Afghanistan, on the other side cannot be taken for granted. They have the wherewithal to hurt India on their day.

The young Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Azmatullah Omarzai and the experienced Mohammad Nabi can tear apart a bowling unit as mercilessly as any other.

Despite the absence of star spinner Rashid Khan, the Afghans have the services of Mujeeb ur Rahman, who was in good rhythm in the first match, Naveen-ul-Haq and Fazalhaq Farooqi.

If they can fire in unison, it will not be far-fetched to expect cracker of a contest.