Afghanistan cricket team led by Asghar Stanikzai is making their Test debut today. The Afghan squad will face an Indian cricket team minus Virat Kohli in their maiden Test on Thursday (14 June). The match is being played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. In Virat Kohli’s absence, Test specialist Ajinkya Rahane is the stand-by skipper of the Indian team.
Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and opted to bat first.
After losing the toss, Afghan captain Asghar Stanikzai said, “Proud that we are playing our first Test. All the guys have some first-class experience, but our first Test, obviously. First one hour, it will be a good wicket for bowling, so happy to be bowling first. If we get wickets, it’ll be good for us.”
Ajinkya Rahane said: “We’re going to bat first. Looks like a good wicket to bat on. There’s some grass but in India, it’s important to bat first. Crucial. Important to start well after the IPL/T20 season. Historic moment for both nations. The boys are very confident, especially the last Test we played in Jo’burg against South Africa. Our preparation has been fantastic, and it’s been about tuning our mind rather than our skills. Coming from T20, it’s all about changing your attitude and mindset. The guys are really looking forward to it. Always an honour to captain India. We are not taking them lightly at all. All opponents are the same, and we wish to be ruthless here. The guys left out are Kuldeep, Saini, Nair, and Shardul.”
Afghanistan (Playing XI): Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Stanikzai(c), Afsar Zazai(w), Mohammad Nabi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Yamin Ahmadzai, Wafadar
India (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Lokesh Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane(c), Dinesh Karthik(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav