For Afghanistan, it was a case of so near, yet so far. They were in the contest for almost 99 overs and yet could not get over the line. Against a fancied Indian side, they were superb on the day and yet, could not get to the elusive win. India looked in control despite not bossing the game and batting great Sachin Tendulkar praised captain Virat Kohli for never panicking in the game.
Sachin also praised Kohli's captaincy, his bowling changes and field placements and said that he waited for Afghanistan to make changes by piling on the dot balls.
"I thought Virat's captaincy was good, the best part was at no stage he looked panicked or confused. When there were dot balls being bowled he also knew Afghanistan was sinking slowly but surely," Sachin Tendulkar told India Today.
Compares match to 2003 India vs Holland clash
Sachin also compared this particular match to the 2003 clash with Holland, when despite Sachin's half-century, India could manage a below-par total, but the bowlers and fielders applied pressure and never allowed the Dutch to get out hand. He praised the bowlers and fielders for being awake at all times.
"This match reminded me of the first game we played in 2003 vs Holland. We hadn't scored a big total and eventually the bowlers backed by good fielding we did the job. 225 was made to feel like 245 by the Indians today. The beauty about our team is there are no easy singles available in the circle. Good luck to the batsmen if they want to take the risk," Tendulkar further added.
He even praised Kohli and his intent while batting and said that the Indian skipper played with a lot of intent and he was the best batsman on show on the day on a sluggish pitch. The Indian skipper looked fluent and it seemed he was batting on a different wicket as he made 67 from 63 balls against Afghanistan.
"Virat's contribution today was perfect. Nobody was talking these numbers 25 years ago. He is always confident, today he was out there early. The moment you see his body language and footwork you know his intent is different and today I saw that" Sachin Tendulkar added.
The match boiled down to the final over when Kohli tossed the ball to Mohammed Shami. Afghanistan needed 16 runs to win, and Nabi thumped Shami for a boundary off the very first ball. However, the fast-bowler responded with a hat-trick as India escaped with a narrow win and it was heartbreak for the Afghans.