Their Journey Has Been Inspirational: Dinesh Karthik on Afghanistan Ahead One-Off Test

Their Journey Has Been Inspirational: Dinesh Karthik on Afghanistan Ahead One-Off Test

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. But Stanikzai doesn't expect the enormity of the occasion to affect his players.

"In my opinion we have better spinners than India", Stanikzai told Indian media, highlighting the likes of Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, Rahmat Shah and Zahir Khan.

PM Modi wrote a letter to the Afghanistan cricket team, saying it's a matter of pride for India to be hosting them in their debut Test.

Rashid Khan's rise to the top as an worldwide cricket star has been quite sensational.

There is a real buzz among the teams who have felt left out over the past few years, especially after the ICC's decision to restrict next year's World Cup to 10 teams. I'm happy to see a country like that doing so well in cricket.

"The historic friendship and relations between India and Afghanistan go back to centuries". Players are coming through different grades and progressing quickly. Partners in earning the Test membership, Ireland had a rather celebrated start to Test cricket when they ran Pakistan close in a home Test last month. People and supporters of the Afghanistan team were looking forward to this great event. Their spinners have ample experience of Indian conditions having played in the IPL and could use that against the hosts.

In Kabul, diplomats from cricket-playing nations and Afghan officials gathered at the Indian embassy to watch the cricket.

Once the openers were gone, Rashid found his mojo and got to land his googlies consistently on good length troubling the middle order batsmen.

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"Yeah, it is a new format for the team but we have played in four-day matches".

It was just the other day that Afghanistan captain, Asghar Stanikzai, claimed that his team's spinners were better than India's. Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side in Kohli's absence.

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

"We are going to focus on our strengths, our positives".

The pitch at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium bore a green tinge on Wednesday and with the monsoon clouds hovering over Bangalore, pacers will come into play early. That is a massive statement to make considering Indian players are masters against spin and have world class spinners in their line-up as well, in the form of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.

"Rashid has done well to deal with the limelight".

It was an under-19 game, they were playing amongst each other, it was a kind of a trial game.

Acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary added: "With his stunning batting display, Shikhar Dhawan ensured it was an outstanding morning in Bengaluru".

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