Ruthless India wont take Afghanistan lightly: Rahane

17 June, 2018, 09:44 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • India vs Afghanistan Ind vs Afg Rashid Khan Asghar Stanikzai sports news cricket Indian Express

That was also the year that US-led global troops ousted the Sunni hardline Taliban regime from Kabul.

Ajinkya Rahane will skipper India in Kohli's absence in Bangalore, as Stanikzai leads Afghanistan's first venture into the Test arena on Thursday. Every Indian player is a Virat Kohli.

Teen sensation Rashid and fellow spinners Mujeeb ur Rahman, Zahir Khan and Hamza Hotak have been named in the 16-member Afghanistan squad for the inaugural one-off Test match against India.

That Afghanistan have no idea how hard it can get could be gauged from their skipper Asghar Stanikzai's pompous claims that his spinners are better than the home team.

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

Awarded full member status alongside Ireland in June previous year, Afghanistan will become the 12th test playing nation in less than two decades after being recognised by International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2001. Afghanistan, who have fast established themselves as a force to reckon with in the shorter formats, will become the 12th side to feature in men's Test cricket after Ireland debuted against Pakistan last month. It's been a highlight for ICC to have a Test nation in Afghanistan.

The national team have made giant strides against much richer and more stable countries, and despite unrest at home which has forced them to train in India since 2015.

"But our efforts against India will be to play good cricket so that people enjoy the game".

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India has been a partner in Afghanistan's two-decades long journey to Test cricket status and has provided training to promising players from the country at facilities in Greater Noida. He played a few seasons in the IPL before poor performances and lack of form ensured that he was left out in the cold.

It took Ashwin only three deliveries to claim the scalp of rival captain Asghar Stanikzai as Afghanistan's top five batsmen were sent back to the hut with just 50 runs on the board. "So we are confident of a good showing", Simmons added. We all know the stats but we don't want to focus on the stats.

How well Shahzad, Mohammed Nabi negotiate Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will have a direct impact on the kind of fight Afghanistan will be able to put on.

At the break, Murali Vijay (41 not out) and Dhawan (104 not out) went back intact, leaving Afghanistan to rethink over their strategies in their first ever Test match.

After impressive performances in the limited-overs formats, Afghanistan must prove they can stand the stresses of a five-day match.

The openers had no difficulty in negotiating the Afghan spinners as Shikhar went hammer and tongs and the bowler to suffer most was IPL hero Rashid Khan.

Conditions in India are unlikely to surprise them, though: the team have been training in the country since 2015 because of poor security at home.

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