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History-making Afghanistan get baptism of fire in Test cricket

17 June, 2018, 09:44 | Author: Lamar Ellis
  • Afghanistan is all set to make its Test debut against India in Bengaluru this week

"It achieved the Test playing status a year ago".

Top-ranked India will be "ruthless" and not take Afghanistan lightly when they make their Test debut in Bangalore, skipper Ajinkya Rahane said Wednesday. I got a call from the chief selector from Zimbabwe who was touring with the squad and also Asghar that we wanted Rashid, so, without giving a second thought, we put him in the plane; he went to Zimbabwe, and since then, he never looked back.

Incidentally Dhawan became the first ever Indian batsman to score a century in the first session of a Test match joining the illustrious ranks of Sir Don Bradman, Victor Trumper, Majid Khan, David Warner.

But growing up in a tough environment where such militant attacks were common did not deter spin sensation Khan.

"Great preparation for the Test match against India - the morale is high", Stanikzai said.

"I genuinely hope they have the opportunity to play a lot of Test cricket", he said.

On their first day in Test cricket, Afghanistan looked like they wanted to experience the full range of emotions: they conceded 52 fours and four sixes, made a DRS blunder early on, dropped a catch late in the day, enabled two very different types of centuries, and still, somehow, managed to dominate an entire session and stay alive. The result was that the day end scorecard didn't paint a sorry picture for Afghanistan something that was threatening to happen after the first two sessions.

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The expression and the tone didn't mesh, and that summarises India's mode going into the one-off Test against Afghanistan from Thursday. Not many people knew Afghanistan played cricket. Today, they are household names in the few years they've played.

Hailing the feat achieved by Afghanistan, Modi said it had come in "challenging and difficult" circumstances.

"They have seen us do well in shorter formats, and our fans will expect us to do similarly well in test cricket as well", he added.

While majority of the sports fans, in soul and spirit, will be in Russian Federation enjoying the surreal skills of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the eternal cricket romantic will try to derive his little pleasures of life watching Rashid Khan trying to hurry Shikhar Dhawan with a flipper or bowl a googly to Ajinkya Rahane. "Maybe the first one hour it will be a good wicket for bowling", the 30-year-old batsman said.

"We all know the stats but we don't focus on them".

Pace duo Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav sent the Afghan top order packing before off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed 4-27 as the visitors lost all their 10 wickets in a single session. During that journey it has consistently performed against other ICC members and Test playing nations recording milestone victories over them in various formats of the game.

The other new ball bowler Wafadar was angling it across the left-hander and Vijay faced him more to wear him out and take advantage of the spinners. Afghanistan will be even more determined as they are the most risky among the bunch.

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