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Dhawan ton puts India in control in Afghanistan’s test debut

16 June 2018

It was a journey which began in 2001, when the national team was formed and in few hours, history will be created again as Afghanistan will take the field in their first ever Test match in Bengaluru against World no. 1, India.

Now a couple of days before the inaugural Test in Bengaluru, it doesn't look like that will be the case. "The batting is a little bit less but the bowling, you will see a young fast bowler in this Test match hopefully".

India has already offered war-ravaged Afghanistan two stadiums in the country to host matches with other nations. "We are excited and the people back home are excited that we are playing the number one ranked side in our first test".

Afghanistan received Test status past year along with Ireland.

"This match is a result of enormous goodwill and solidarity between the two countries", one senior diplomat said. "They have a decent team", he told reporters.

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Afghanistan (likely XI): Javed Ahmadi, Mohammad Shahzad, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Mohammad Nabi, Afzar Zazai (wk), Rashid Khan, Yamin Ahmadzai, Zahir Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Wafadar.

If the IPL is anything to go by, these Afghan spinners would be relentless and on target nine out of ten times.

"And our spinners - Kuldeep, Ashwin or Jadeja - they are all experienced, they're all quality spinners".

The big boys are having a tough time against "minnows" of late.

Regular captain Kohli was anyhow going to miss the match as he had lined up a stint in county cricket to prepare for the England Test series.

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The India captain said that it was important for them to play to their strengths, and confessed that he was not sure what the pitch would offer from Thursday. Afghanistan will be even more determined as they are the most risky among the bunch.

Stanikzai said that they are not nervous but "well prepared" for the rigours of Test match cricket.

Coming off the back of a brilliant season in the Ranji Trophy this time around, Saini had made the cut for the India "A" side that had been coached by Rahul Dravid. They do not have much exposure to the longest variant of the game other than the Intercontinental Cup and their domestic first-class tournament, where a lot of cricketers are semi-professionals given the nascent stages of cricket in the country. Earlier today, India won the toss and chose to Bat first.

When quizzed as to how he is feeling leading the team again, Rahane said that he is honoured to have got the opportunity and that he is looking forward to the same. Indian Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore shook hands with Afghan players before the match and read out a congratulatory statement from Modi.

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Dhawan ton puts India in control in Afghanistan’s test debut