India vs Afghanistan Test: Ajinkya Rahane promises ruthlessness

The bright red caps dotting the field made for a sharp contrast with the Test whites and the lush green of the M Chinnaswamy Stadium outfield in Bangalore of Indian on Tuesday morning as Afghanistan started its first ever Test. India and now Afghanistan are now two major Asian forces in cricket.

"We also request other test cricketing nations to arrange regular series with Afghanistan". On behalf of all Afghans I pay tribute to their contribution to the game of cricket and honour them for their contribution to the game. Cricket is a amusing game and we can not take anyone for granted. Afghanistan, on the other hand was not known for their cricketing exploits. All of this achieved by a team which never had the cricket infrastructure in their country.

The war-torn country, finally got to grips with the game in the post-Taliban period as its application for Affiliate Membership of ICC was accepted in 2001. Hope this game marks the beginning of a new inning for the people of Afghanistan and for our countries' relationship!

Afghan cricket grew out of refugee camps in Pakistan where many families were based after they fled conflict in the 1980s and 1990s. The likes of Imran Khan, Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan the iconic sportsman, were adored both in Peshawar and Kabul. Afghanistan struggled, they have waited and finally, Test cricket will have a new nation.

Afghanistan: Ashgar Stanikzai (Captain), Mohammed Shahzad (wicket-keeper), Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Ihsanullah Janat, Nasir Jamal, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Mohammed Nabi, Rashid Khan, Zahir Khan, Amir Hamza Hotak, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Yamin Ahmadzai Wafadar, Mujeeb ur Rahman. As Dhawan was looking in good touch, the left-handed batsman started hammering the Afghanistan bowlers, be it pacers or spinners.

"India takes pride in being shoulder-to-shoulder with Afghanistan in this journey".

"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. The moment Rashid or Mujeeb (0/32 in 4 overs) tried to flight, Dhawan would step out, if they upped the pace of the deliveries, they were cut forcefully. The biggest threat for Stanikzai and his batting line-up would be to keep the Indian bowlers at bay.

Skipper, Asghar Stanikzai, a middle order batsman, remains the anchor of the young side.

Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons said that putting the spotlight on Khan's talents is helping the other players focus on improving.

Khan was one of a handful of Afghan players in this year's Indian Premier League and proved one of its most unsafe bowlers.


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