India bat in Afghanistan's debut test

Arnold Nichols
June 17, 2018

India are slated to play the one-off historic Test match against Afghanistan, beginning June 14 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons said that putting the spotlight on Khan's talents is helping the other players focus on improving. "The people of India have shared the joy of millions of Afghans at the success of their players in tournaments and elsewhere".

The squad comprises five spinners in Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Zahir Khan and left-arm spinner Hamza Kotak, who incidentally emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the recently concluded first-class competition.

The left-hander has scored over 100 runs in a session before, though, doing so against Australia on debut in Mohali in 2013, and then against Sri Lanka in Galle past year.

While the sense of occasion can be overwhelming for the tourists who attained Test status only a year ago, Rahane said India will not approach this game any differently.

"Are we nervous? Not at all because this is the first time I am hearing that word", said Stanikzai. We don't want to take anyone lightly, but we're lucky to be part of this historic first Test.

And Indian batsman Karun Nair, famed for his triple century in his third Test against England in 2016, cast doubt on Stanikzai s claim of spin superiority. They came through the qualifiers and secured a World Cup berth.

Considering Indian grounds as their second Home ground, Afghanistan will take this as an advantage to show their cricket skills to the world against the number one Test cricket team India. "So we are disappointed he is not playing, but little bit happy that we are not going to bowl to him all the time".

For the Afghans, Ahmadzai was the pick of the bowlers with a couple of wickets while Wafadar, Rashid and Mujeeb contributed with one wicket apiece. Ravichandran Ashwin (7) and Hardik Pandya (10) were at the crease at sumps.

However, this does not work as Dhawan, who has played alongside Rashid in IPL and has faced the Afghan spinner in the nets many times; dominated over the bowler completely.

Rashid, who had an very bad start to Test cricket, picked up skipper Rahane's wicket and troubled the batsmen then on.

India, on the other hand, will be without their star skipper Virat Kohli, who chose to skip the historic Test for his maiden English county stint but was later sidelined with neck injury. They are quality spinners, they back each other, they enjoy bowling with each other even in the nets and in the match.

The wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik was run out on a close review after chasing a quick single when on four, as India got through to stumps at 347 for six.

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