Afghanistan set for historic inaugural Test against India

Karun Nair looks to seal India berth. credit Twitter
Karun Nair looks to seal India berth. credit Twitter

16 June, 2018

Opener Shikhar Dhawan (104 batting) struck a belligerent unbeaten century to become the first Indian to score a hundred before lunch as India scored 158 for no loss at lunch on the opening day against Afghanistan in the one-off historic test played at M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Thursday.

Awarded full member status by the International Cricket Council (ICC) alongside Ireland past year, Afghanistan became the 12th test-playing nation after first being recognised by the ICC in 2001.

It has been nearly 11 years since Dinesh Karthik made his Test debut for India and come July 14, the wicketkeeper-batsman will don the whites of his country once again for only the 24th time.

As Afghanistan gear up to face India in their inaugural Test match, all cameras are zoomed in on them.

"I was with Ireland for a long time, but they haven't produced the amount of youngsters in the last four-five years like Afghanistan have", he said. "Best wishes to both teams!"

"If Virat Kohli was here, it would have been more fun playing the Test, with the kind of experience he has and the manner in which he plays Test cricket". Since then, not only have they have upstaged football as the nation's number one sport but also have tried to wipe out the tears from the eyes of their countrymen with their deeds on the cricket field.

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The strife-torn nation secured Test status a year ago along with Ireland, who lost their debut match to Pakistan in Dublin last month. Indian Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore shook hands with Afghan players before the match and read out a congratulatory statement from Modi. But this will be a new challenge for Afghanistan playing against India in their first ever test match. India has helped Afghanistan make the country their "home", extending all facilities to let their players grow away from the turmoil back home.

The three-match series in 2007 was India's last Test series win on English soil.

Afghanistan's captain Asghar Stanikzai said morale among team members was good and they were positive. that no disrespect to Afghanistan though. He achieved this feat by scoring 3 sixes and 19 fours and century for him came in just 87 balls.

In Virat's absence, Ajinkya Rahane will lead the Indian team. Skill-wise it won't make a difference, but our attitude matters, if you have to make a quick switch in terms of mindset from T20 to Test cricket.

"We are not going to take Afghanistan lightly". They expect us to perform well because recently Afghanistan performed really well in the T20s and ODIs.

The match-up of Afghan spinners versus Indian spinners has been talked up and it remains to be seen if leg spin star Rashid Khan and company can rattle India.

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