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PM Modi salutes indomitable spirit of Afghanistan on Test debut

17 June, 2018, 09:42 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Karun Nair India Ranji Trophy

We have a young pacer (18-year-old Wafadar) to showcase in this game as well.

Karthik further said that Afghanistan have managed to produce a lot of players from the Indian Premier League (IPL) and that he is ecstatic to see the country doing so well at the worldwide level. Afghanistan are riding high on their 3-0 T20 series win over Bangladesh and the sizzling form of leg-spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.

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.

Seasoned opener Shikhar Dhawan smashed a quickfire century to help India pile 158/0 at lunch in the lop-sided opening session on day 1 of the one-off Test against debutants Afghanistan here on Thursday.

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. India takes pride in being shoulder-to-shoulder with Afghanistan in this journey. With India's batsmen not as adept at spin as the wristy yesteryear players, Afghanistan might be better placed than some of India's recent foes at home. In two years, they have had household names [like Rashid]. Afghanistan ought to have been mere pushovers for this India juggernaut, but if rumour mills are anything to go by, the Ajinkya Rahane-led unit aren't taking their neighbours lightly.

"We are lucky that some of our best players are getting a chance to live in India and represent our nation", said an official with the Afghan Cricket Board.


He continued in his role as leader of the pace attack and was an important part of the side led by MS Dhoni that eventually lifted the inagural edition of the World T20 in South Africa.

Good form is invaluable, irrespective of the format.

There was a neat surprise at the pre-match ceremony, where Salim Durani, the only Afghanistan-born Test cricketer before today (he was born in Kabul), handed over a memento to Stanikzai. As a Test team, we can not take anyone for granted because cricket is a amusing game.

Here we take a look at the factors working in favour of Afghanistan ahead of their inaugural Test.

While Afghanistan´s successes so far have come in short formats of cricket, they must now prove they can stand the physical and mental challenge of a five-day match. "Our spinners, Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep are experienced and quality spinners". Also, both Mujeeb and Rashid dismissed star players of spin like Kohli, MS Dhoni and KL Rahul in the IPL emphatically, which should give them confidence against "lesser" batsmen.

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