In a tweet, PM Modi wrote, "I congratulate the people of Afghanistan as their cricket team plays their first worldwide test match". Kuldeep Yadav's contentious selection may or may not have contributed to Anil Kumble losing the coaching job, but there's every chance that the Rahane-Kuldeep combination will once again be seen at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday for a Test that marks Afghanistan's entry into the big league. 13 runs in the seventh over and the run-rate is over five per over now. Yamin Ahmadzai will open the bowling for Afghanistan. Wafadar bowls on the pads and Vijay glances it to the fine leg albeit off the thigh pad. One of them nearly took the edge of Dhawan through to the wicketkeeper. There's also the question of which two to pick from Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan.
Rahane, who captained Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, said it was important now for his team's players to switch mentally from T20 mode to playing in the longest format. The Prime Minister further went on to give his best wishes to both the teams. "We know that playing a Test match is always special", Rahane said here on Wednesday. Asghar Stanikzai, the captain of Afghanistan, mentioned that it was a proud moment for his side.
Where will the India vs Afghanistan one-off Test match be played?
More than two decades ago, cricket was a welcome break for Afghan refugees in camps in Pakistan.
India have been Afghanistan's close allies and the BCCI has shown magnanimity in opening their stadiums so that the national team can practice.
The sense of occasion is not lost on Ajinkya Rahane.
India are without their captain Virat Kohli - the biggest name in world cricket - but Simmons said the home side have other weapons.
For Afghanistan, it will be a battle of attrition that they have never ever faced before. He hasn't played Test cricket, so we have to look and see what happens.
With no pressure of asking rate, a Murali Vijay or a Chesteshwar Pujara, if set, will play at their own pace.
"As the home team, it is important to play to our strengths".
Despite praising the nascent achievements of Afghanistan as an global cricket team, Karthik has stated that Indian spinners will be a lot more experienced than their counterparts and have the ability to change the course of the game.
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. Umesh Yadav was hugely impressive in that 2017 series against Australia, while Ishant Sharma has had a fine stint with Sussex in the county championship.
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